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Baptism by Night


Image by Sara Kurfeß

A midnight shimmer, 

the full moon’s shine lake-

side brings the alderwood 

valley to false dawn.


A fish—unclear what

from a distance—leaps 

from the water, 

a suffocating quarter second, 


trusting to (let’s say) a trout’s 

arcane faith in gravity’s

logistical power, buoyancy be damned.


Piercing the surface again, 

an intimation of (re)birth,

as clouds wash over the moon,

returning the valley to sleep.

Chris Mikesell (he/him) grew up in San Jose, Calif., and currently lives near Dallas, Texas, where he teaches high-school English and sponsors the Poetry Club. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in GRIFFEL, The Quarter(ly) Journal, Carolina Muse, and elsewhere.

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