Shark Attack


A menacing plume
Of westerly mist
Slithers in from the Pacific
Like the squall line
Of a wicked thunderstorm
To blanket the technological hub
Of all things, “in the cloud.”

The sun is planted high enough
On a soft canvas of blue
To burn
A few more lumens
Of alluring light
Onto the Financial District
As that dark mass
Of frigid sea air
Looms on the horizon.

A trail of seagulls
And I
Watch
As the city fades
Into a murky haze
Created by the big blue bay
And the wake
From the behemoth vessel
Carrying me slowly away
From all of the hurriedness
And anxiety
That courses
Through the ventricle-like
Subway lines
And the crawling bacteria
Of human traffic
Atop the concrete flesh
Of that whore
Known as San Francisco.

This ferryboat
Carves through waves
Leaving a trail of whitewash
Like footprints in the snow,
Like the frothy foam of beer,
Like all of those years
Of nonstop momentum
That swirl in my head
In a calm moment
When I try to sleep
But cannot.

As dinghies
Of pedestrian life,
We carve through
Our own tides,
Through the currents
Of traumatic pasts
Rattling along,
Barely afloat.

But
It’s behind me now,
My learned helplessness
Of going back for more
Into the arms of a city
That keeps promising
To change
But
Then eats human hearts
Behind my back:
Black hearts of death,
Red, youthful and drumming
At 60 to 100 beats per minute…
She has no preference.
Pumping life,
Full of hope,
Of love
And driven
By the mounting fear
Of vulnerability;
Those are the ingredients
Her vaporous hunger thrives on
And churns
Into a visible mass
As what we call “fog”
Mantles the city
And mutes
Our light.

The lining of my own heart
Has been gnashed
By her photogenic peaks
But I am strong enough
To bite back now;
Something she never
Saw coming.

In this Bay made of faults,
We are the sharks
And it’s important
To do
What
Sharks
Do
Best.

Peering into my reflection
That dances glaringly atop
The salty water
On which I float,
I say,
“I am the shark.
My teeth are meant
To pierce
And draw blood
Like a vampire
In the night.”

And now
That I know
That she can bleed too,
And I have tasted it,
I remain
Hungry
For more.

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