~ Helga Novak
I pack the herring in cartons – two forearms long, one forearm wide. I weigh them
out. A package holds ten kilos.
Fish oil the color of old gold collects on the table. The yellow flecks on the backs
of the herring, they blind. They stick in the eyes.
The time does not go by.
Outside, a storm.
Bending the herring up, pressing it flat, packing it, weighing it out. My underarms are
studded with glittering scales. They stick like Scotch tape and leave small
If one doesn’t think of the hour, the time passes.
The storm cries, whines, shrieks. It takes the bars from the windows and pulls the
house apart. The cliff opposite the bay is shrouded. I would like to be in the