Howard Firkin
(Dead fish on a dirty shore)
I’m washed up, dead, sea-spat upon this shore,
flesh marked with evolution’s pinking shears,
the jaws and teeth of forty million years
that shaped themselves to shape and shred before
they lost their meal to sand and air and tide.
I’m melting into sand. Recombinant,
I fray into the stinking soup of air,
a fug that impregnates your clothes, your hair,
the semen taste of death’s adulterant.
Organic chemistry won’t be denied.

The small mouths will return to me at night,
unweaving threads and picking cartilage clean.
Before you leave, inhale the smell and sight:
ingest me. I was something that had been.