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    By Nathan Leslie

    The men hold gourds
    in their left hands as
    they yank the lake
    with scoop nets for red-eyed
    tetras, the color of grass
    tendrils shot through with sun.

    They will grind the shoalers alive,
    stone into stone, a paste
    with cassava and rice, and egg.
    Fish all day for a pound.

    Some cast spells, rubbing board
    and root, others hex driving
    nails into a spirit carving.
    Can't do this always--luck's limit.

    Watch them by the waters,
    plucking prisms from their
    nets, thunking the gourds
    with the thrashing fish.

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Document last modified on: 02/17/2003

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