I met your beloved in Russell Square, and she was weeping.
Their dead weights balance him: suspending one on either side, he carries down the fish he must have killed out on the salmon-run here where the river slows to water-wash and salt, and a lazy tide, so in the sun they glitter from a distance, and they flash like things that could be animate and raw, each with its whole weight taken on the jaw.
Two salmon, closer up, and not alive in their suits of miraculous chainmail fitted like skin; not enough to survive out in the parched and dazzling, unreal element of noise and wind; they arrive with blood-flecks on the white and pewter scales along their bellies, each one the same size, these fish with their uncloseable dead eyes.
I nod to him, smile: it’s as if what swings so heavily from each arm were a new option, a way of going about things; for a moment anyhow, the fish are two lives, and he has his choice of them; he brings one and the other steadily into the world with its drizzle of light, its poles upright between sandbanks and sea. Two souls.
I look and look: eventually, he’s gone; and maybe all of this was wrong, in fact: remember how two bodies can have one soul between them, with that soul intact through all the very worst that can be done or said; they swim against a cataract