Of Fish and Smoke

When I needed her to
catch me, my mother, too
was a child, in rust-
curtained rooms—her father’s
baritone knifing cricket
night, thumbs rank with
scaled fluke, breath of
gin, bowling shorts
spattered red. She took
cover below, a periscope
of girl made of Russian
novels and paintbrush, dreams
of tea-time with God.

My father’s baritone
blasted hearts into
powder, his yellow
cigarette hands, breath
a patina of grief.
I hid above, a drone
boy made of baseball
and books, dreams
of Senegal and Peru,
fishing boats and
ruins—the rag
in mother’s lap
about to fall.

Matt Pasca reads “Of Fish and Smoke”

From Cagibi Issue 1: Four Poems by Matt Pasca


Matt Pasca.jpeg

Matt Pasca is a poet, teacher and traveler who believes in art’s ability to foster discovery, empathy and justice. His first book-length collection, A Thousand Doors (2011), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his second, Raven Wire (2016), was selected as a Finalist for the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Award. Individual poems have appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies, including Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Naugatuck River Review, Oberon, Paterson Literary Review, English Journal, Weave, Georgetown Review, Wordpeace and The Pedestal Magazine. A 2003 New York State Teacher of Excellence, Matt teaches Poetry, Mythology and Literature, advises an award-winning literary-art magazine, The Writers’ Block, and runs a visiting writers program at his school on Long Island. Pasca also curates Second Saturdays @Cyrus, a vibrant poetry series, with his wife, author Terri Muuss, and performs his work, keynotes, and teaches workshops at cafés, libraries, colleges, conferences and continuing Ed. programs around the country. www.mattpasca.com

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