Field Collection, South Atlantic Ocean 1949
Big as a dead man’s foot, but closer
to tripes or dough than meat.
Just to be sure, they folded her around herself
head-down in formalin. Her one brief sea.
Note that fluke-stump nicked by her mother’s
flenser’s blade; the flipper’s hopeless grace.
Day after day, she grows the milk bloom of a thing
that never moved in the cold, green, deepening light;
like most of us. The eye-slit weary, delicate,
beyond insult. Closed against our looking.