Sean Sam


Navy

1915

The searchlight scans along

   the wakes and the water.

The enemy and the sea

   both wait and welter in the dark.

Along the waves, it drops and dips

   in the spray, it sways

     —something writhes with a splash.

Awake and in time with ideas

   of death sliding underneath and inside,

     the gunners bend at the bow.

Slapped on the sea, the shape of a hull

   blinks on the surface. A splash

     of fire spoils the year.

Sinking then showing again,

   the shape dies as the light

     meets a new color in the current.

Later, seagulls circle around

   chunks of flesh floating

     up from the dead whale's bloat.