Lake Host

by Brenna Manuel

“You know bass fishermen…,”
he goes on. He cranes
his angled cheek up to look
one eye closed my way.

His torso bends
forward straight to make
perfect “L” to outboard motor
with blades that glisten
sharply in the sun.

He pauses, sputters,
“Best engines…,” he goes on.

My brows go up-
confused, I pull
my empty archives
on bass fishing boats and gear.

I am here to look beneath the boat
for crawling, alien species from Asian Seas.
I inspect for hardened mussels, sea flora
shaped like Christmas wreaths,
or single strands of seaweed lost
that make the ocean voyage,
desperately grasping hulls.

I don’t know why a clam would travel far
or a man would cast and haul all day
for pounds of fish to weigh and toss away.