OTTER by Paul Hyland

High in the dusk
I stand on a bridge
bats like shuttles
throwing invisible
nets beneath arches.

Something pops
the river’s integument:
black snout, flat head,
fluted fur streaming,
a disappearance.

The surface heals
and slides downstream,
my eyes alert
for the place, the next
door out of the deep.

As long as I search
it will not open;
my ears straining
at thin air for a plop,
a chirp, a whistle.

Nothing breaks
surface or silence;
still, I am drawn into
its element, that last-light

The web and flux
of worlds contained
in jet eyes, waiting
for a skinful of gold
a naked whisker.

© copyright of Paul Hyland


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