Astrid Cabral

Before I only knew the tucunaré

from the market stall, covered in blood

or flopping in the belly of the canoe

beaching on a sand spit of the Rio Negro.

Tucunaré for me was just a delicacy,

an aroma from the tureen hooking me,

dragging me to eat immediately

without a thought for scales or bones.

I only saw the rounded crimson spot

down near the tail, the elongated shape,

and that delicious flavor in the mouth.

So I found myself amazed, filled with praise,

by the story of its universe

on that T.V. show.

I came to feel myself a relative

seeing the tucunaré a super-human

protecting the young fry, weaving back and forth

with loving care, a shield

against the dangers of the river surrounding

those innocent small fish, rather than

abandoning them to the random waters.




Cabral, Astrid. “Kin.” Trans. Alexis Levitin. Cage. Austin: Host Publications, 2008. p. 29.

Comment Box is loading comments...