Poem: Engulf

A poem I am working on: 


I was watching a tv show about sharks.

When I was little I would tell everyone I wanted to be a marine


mostly because no-one else had thought of it and it had a fancy


but also because I loved tv shows about sharks.

I want to see the whales in the sea, because big things can’t be

     easily comprehended. I want

to be next to a whale and so I can see how small I am, how


You went to the top of the Empire State Building years ago,

and listened to Goddess on a Hiway by Mercury Rev looking out.

That always impressed me.

The biggest thing I’ve ever known was a tourist cruise liner in my

    early twenties

when I had a bit of money to spend.

The only problem was that every time I was on deck I wanted to

     throw myself

violently into the swells,

and so I had to stay away and try to breathe properly.

It’s impossible to write.

I’ve been thinking things over too much,

I have been weighing things up and nothing’s on my side. Did

     you know that sharks

can stop swimming, it’s just a myth that they can’t. Inertia

will kill them eventually, but it takes time.

All my actions prior to March of this year have been dangerous,

subtle, but taken with the unsteady mind of a madwoman.

I have a shaky reputation.

One woman fed a great White Shark a fish off the edge of her

     boat, stood with the water lapping her

 feet. She said if the shark had wanted to

it could’ve pulled her straight into the sea and eaten her, but it

     had a decent personality,

as all sharks have their own personality.

Many sharks have their tails and fins sliced off for soup

and their bodies just fall

to the bottom of the ocean bed and lie there,

taking several days to die.

I am sorry for being so fallible.

The feeling engulfs me, inside my skin.

The white-tipped reef shark is the most dangerous, it is


for the majority of shark-related human deaths;

people need statistics for things like this, even if they’ll only ever

     make it to Torquay.

We’re not really afraid of sharks, we’re not even afraid

of cars or the ordinary killers, like age and heart attacks.

Do you often think about death? I don’t believe you.

The mega mouth shark was only spotted in the seventies.

It is so beautiful no-one could bear to see it alive.

We have to kill those beautiful things to keep them alive.

When I look at you, I see nothing of me.

When I look at you. The sea is older than love;

there are so many skeletons at the very bottom with

fishes swimming in and out and sharks gliding in the darkness.

You are older than me, but when I look at you I see

my youth, what little there was of it, climbing into your arms

     curled up

and hanging on your every breath

with an ear pressed to your heart.