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Love has a lighter side too. One of the mixed blessings of the internet is the way it makes it possible to track down just about everyone you've ever loved... and lost sight of, be it ever so wisely. I don't think 'Felix' (his real name!) and I were meant for each other, but there was a moment, somewhere before the dawn fishing trip, when I believed we were fated as surely as any star-crossed lovers before us. How I burned with hatred for 'Linda', who was fourteen beside my puny twelve years. Never mind that she was skinny with a big nose - she was one of the 'big girls' and I patently was not.

So when Felix singled me out for this fishing trip I thought my moment had come. But alas! I had a lesson, oft repeated in later life, that reality is often doomed to disappoint us. And shivering in a small boat on an empty stomach is not a method guaranteed to secure a young lady's affections.

It only remains to mention that F went on to become a dedicated ichthyologist, as well as (I gather from the internet) a fine sports fisherman. And I, of course, went on to become - a poet! Truly, it was not meant to be.

FELIX CULPA

Da_vinci_drawingby Grace Andreacchi14 Feb 2014

At fourteen you were
the god I worshipped
You were golden bronze
and black
beautiful as Perseus
in your Sicilian skin

You courted me with sea bass
and smooth-skinned blues
and took me fishing
at five a.m.
(Never before or since
have I been seen that early)

I remember the boat rocked
and it was cold
I remember the fog
I wanted you to kiss me
by way of an experiment
(but I was only twelve and you
didn’t)

Today, out fishing on the net
I caught you
seriously fat but still
fishing
a bright red rockfish
dead on your rod