Dead Shark at New Beach

Name synonymous with hunger, carnage,
but this one was peaceful, floated near the waves’ surface,
sweeping the water open-mouthed for plankton and krill.
Was struck most likely by a fishing boat,
hit broadside, stunned, and washed to shore.

The thirty-foot shark comes apart in a pool behind a dune,
at the end of a channel wound through lifting grass.
The full moon tide lifted him over the hump of the high beach
and laid him in this souring pool, filled and emptied by tides.

The body sways in slowest currents—
unnatural movement, pitch and heave of parts tearing,
the body ripped and broken,
undone by sun and air, by surge and pull
and undulation of the tide’s last reach, unmaking
links of cartilage, gristle, sinew, flesh,
loosing muscles and organs, the trailing spume of intestines
releasing a cloud on the still water, a pale green foam.