Troy Varvel·PoetryDrainedShare24Indianola, TXSeagulls splinter the nightof salted squalls, driving rainstinging our skin. I wishI was more willing to stayhere with you than I ambut as lightning scripts cloudsand light bulbs buzz outthe dock shop shuts down.Behind us the owner locksthe door and sloshes throughthe parking lot to his truck, tiresalready drowning. Get out of here, he says, voice taken by wind.His tires whine for tractionpersistent drizzling from the mud rutsas he spins out of dark waterto the black top a quarter mile north.I tell you we should listen to himand leave before the portage road floods.You stay under the tin sheetedcover and tell me we can wait outthe storm. One more bait check, you say.You don’t leave bait on a hook, your fathertold us a week before he died.Smoke curls from the clay pit,coals smoldering Styrofoam, aluminum,all that fishermen had tossed inwhen they rushed off the pierupon the first breath of storm.One of our lines zips. You stand,walk into rain, fishing shirt nowskin tight with water, bottom threebuttons broken open, and grabthe rod. Your eye lidsslit tight to shield you from dropsslicing through. You pinch the postwith your Croc covered feetto prepare for the fight as a waveof tidewrack and fogged foamgusts over the railshaking the dock and dousingthe remains of the fire. Embersbubble their last heat in a large hissof smoke. I should be drenchednext to you, net in hand, to helpland what I know you can reel infrom this channel current, coarsewith deserted hooks and live bait bleeding.This means one more cast, you say,with a smile stretching up your face,fishing pole bending double.You wave me onto the watered dock,and when I walk out from the cover,shoes spitting drops with each stepI look around the corner to see watersuck down the last of your Tahoe tiresand I know we’re not leaving. After weland your fish, I’ll cast my line, too,and reel. We’ll cast and reel, cast again,until clouds bottom out, until the moongutters down cast iron waters.