Face down in the cool seas of some heaven,
armoured in the faint moonlight on our skin,
our spines faced the flicker of hot stars. In
mid-drift we found barracuda. Seven
swords hovered like birds of prey in the shreds
of shadow, between rubble and long weeds.
Stumbling among the pack, we watched them feed
an ancient hunger. We watched. We shuddered
at the buoyant flesh, how the red clouds spread,
spelled and natured their ferocious intake.
They swam against us before we could shake
the paralysis they placed in our heads. Dread
was a comb of teeth, a dark eye, the shape
of their display, the seas of heaven, the dead.
The familiar smell of bait has drifted.
The house is not a graveyard
and she cries in the kitchen.
Her child has spoken
again; he’s taken the ship
from its cabinet, showing it,
pointing out impressive details.
But the tackle’s become cutlasses.
Port holes, since then, are cannon chutes.
The ship is not a graveyard,
and tears are in the kitchen.
The smell has drifted.