Sam Alvarez

dad please tell me again about the good fish—

i am falling in & out of love & water is rushing past
i can’t tell which way i am facing.

dad please walk with me & explain again
how the current sometimes circles 

into deep eddies on river shorelines
& the water runs against the flow in that quiet

dad i remember that fish always point upstream
but please remind me that upstream is downstream

if you’re watching eddies from the shore.
dad, look at me, please tell me again

the good fish are in the eddies—
you’re still on the riverbank,

please just tell me again:
how do you know if a fish is doing it right?

Sam Alvarez is a saxophonist and writer born in Austin, Texas who’s just trying to make nice things.