From Tiburones

Tiburones- bellying, gliding in, gone
to the sound of the sea sucking in its breath
or no sound at all. Feathery
pea-green shadows. Not, then back
the sun hauling up, dripping rose
climbing a tile blue sky
making its sole gesture- up, on, down
in a golden arc,
defining time
day in, endless day out?
and the crooked birds following the scow-
motorless, sheetless, oarless
oarlocks turned to sawdust,

where did they go by night- the birds?
that coast the winds by day, the ocean's exhalations.
Did they sleep in the wind, by night, their wings
locked against the dark, their feet shipped,
to appear, like the sun, by morn?
Something, at least, aery to relate to, birds.
Unlike the sickening sharks,
Tiburones, tiburones-
heard, the word stuck-
its loops and lengths, sharkier than shark;
a word that lets the sea in and out, like gills
in, over, under, out, in, over, under, out,
and became the thing it sought to name;
a word that, hooked, hauled gasping aboard,
would bang the deck with its tail, snap its jaws,
letter in its writhings the words of its distress
bodily text the SOS of the sea- looking for what?
Understanding? sympathy for treachery?

by Morgan Michaels

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