Metal groans as the ship’s belly

rips open to allow the sea its space.

A tender hull is no match for an explosive


It takes a feint from shore, some little

baubles to draw attention

to disorient leviathan.

Down in the mud of the seabed

among the anemones and sturgeons

the ship’s doctor tends his crew

with blue lips and swollen bellies,

adjusts dosages of bitter medicine

and hands out sterile bandages.

Pride of the fleet

Forever now shipshape

in the space between

air and flood

sky and wave

alive and dead.