Greenland Shark

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse14 May 2015

Two hundred summer
thaws come and go
before his cold-slowed
heart stops pumping

blood through gills
fed by barely liquid water
beneath the ice.

Sleeping seals,
Reindeer, polar bears
messily pass its rows of teeth
to be laboriously digested

into toxic muscle
that smells of urine
and poisons dogs.

Each has a parasite
clamped to its eyes,
eating from outside in,
transforming the half-dark

that birthed them
to blackness,
bit by bit.

As strange
as an alien,
as familiar
as a shaved face,

the monster glides
slowly down
to lightless depths.