The eye the blanched meat of an acorn pressed into flesh.
The nostrils the triangular gouge of a knife flicked suddenly.
The nose as hard as the indentation – the punt – at the base of a broken bottle.
But around the mouth, the rim of folded skin as white as cooked chicken or tripe
Is loose, wrapped like a shroud around its prey,
While sea water surges from runnels between the rows of its two hundred teeth,
Now hidden from view. The force of its pursuit has lifted the beast
Clear from the surface of the ocean, and exposed the great white breast to the sunlight
Like an ancient albescent albatross launched into the heavens above,
Its ragged-edged pelvic fins two wide wedges of dark-tipped wings.
A rough line runs the length of its five metre body, marking like ripped paper
The threshhold of underbelly, white like soft pastry, and the broad dark back, crooking
Left and right where the missile cone head becomes the body, and the body
Narrows like a twisted torpedo end, such that a saddle of silvered black flanks
The vertical force of the dorsal fin’s arching pirate’s sail. And the great fish tail
Sealed like a secret, a thick rubber sweep of fierce water, catches the light
Like a batwing caught by the moon at midnight.
20 – 11 -07