He took her fishing for crappie at the dusk end of day when the fish would be hungry and the lake calm as set jelly. Speaking little, he rowed easy, the old wooden boat nosing the edge of the lily pad field as a dog might find a path. He slipped the anchor into murky water, dug deep into the soil of the bait jar, retrieved a writhing worm, pierced its flesh onto hook’s barb. Blood spurted across his threadbare overalls. He grinned at her wide-eyed stare. Acolyte witnessing holy ritual, she memorized his every move, swung her pole out into the air. Quiet plop and then they waited in the warm breath of summer’s night. Startled by the tug, she jerked, nearly lost her pole but his hands cupped hers steady and his voice, like a prayer, skimmed the silence. Let the fish swallow so the hook will catch firm. His broad hand rested on her slight shoulder as they hiked the steep path home. Crescent moon and flickering stars barely lit their way. She glanced back at the lake where fish swam free and silver tattoos shimmied on the water’s perfect skin, peered up to find the patterns he described. The stars are a million holes of light birds fly through to sleep in heaven.