W. Todd Kaneko

Art by Herlinde Spahr

We will walk down to the beach
where it’s always night,

where the fish open themselves
and lay their guts across the stones,

the fish we caught on the line
and the ones that swam away

all agasp for the shore
and glinting like knives in moonlight.

We will walk among the fish
and listen to them whisper about seagulls

wheeling overhead for the feast,
about feral cats slinking in driftwood 

waiting to devour anything
while it’s helpless. Eventually,

we will lie down with the fish,
open our shirts, and wait for the tide

to come back in. Soon there will be
be no more fish on the beach and the birds

and the cats will surround us,
all claw and beak and questions

about where hunger comes from—
it’s more prayer than question

and we won’t have an answer
before we are gone.

W. Todd Kaneko

is the author of the poetry books This is How the Bone Sings (Black Lawrence Press, 2020) and The Dead Wrestler Elegies, 2nd Edition (New Michigan Press, 2021). He is co-author with Amorak Huey of Poetry: A Writers’ Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), and Slash / Slash, winner of the 2020 Diode Editions Chapbook Contest. A Kundiman Fellow, he teaches at Grand Valley State University and lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Art by Herlinde Spahr



Born in Belgium, Herlinde Spahr studied Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. Parallel with her studies, she taught herself stone lithography, which led Spahr to open up her own studio, Lithium Press, in the Bay Area. Spahr has published three books combining images of her work with selections from her notebooks. Lying Awake, her latest book, was recommended by the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. She was awarded the Chancellor Fellowship at UC Berkeley and a Fulbright Grant. Spahr has published extensively on the philosophy of printmaking, and her work is represented in many collections. Find out more at

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