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.