timely as the split second of the solstice,
the salmon ascend the fathoms of the deep blue sea
and gather at the mouths of great rivers.
With but fin, thrashing muscle
and an inscrutable act of God,
they climb the rungless ladders of cataracts
and exhaust beyond recovery
each determined ounce of their being
just to spawn and then to bleed into the shallows
the cold pulsing sunsets of their lives.