The hot, dry Santa Anas blew until mid-afternoon, scouring the air and drawing new lines of dust on every windowsill. Then the winds ceased and all was motionless; the heat was copper and tasted clean but bitter.
I was restless and drove thirty miles to the ocean and walked out on the Cabrillo beach fishing pier, over the flat blue-gray water. Men and women laughed and talked in many languages at the open sinks, where busily they gutted the day's catch, washed away the blood and the useless parts, and wrapped the clean fish in paper. At one sink, fish heads prized for soup filled a large bucket.
Their work done, the people lingered there to watch as the copper air vibrated and the sun fell into the sea.
a warm evening,
in the eyes of fish
by Michael McClintock
first published in Anthology of Days (Backwoods Broadsides, No. 70)