Stream, this is my chrism,
my kingfish spoor.

It’s been mizzling
for the life of these pinions,

the bank’s a bed of thatch.
Spits on the surface,

this bill to clip
and slant in, to scare him

from the rut
he’s made a home of —

a trail in the water
is still no closer.

Joseph Spece split his youth between Long Island, New York, and Massachusetts. He received a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2009.