poem index

Angel Shark

Hailey Leithauser
Wan oxymoron of a fish, dotted
dun and fledge winged, mud-feathered when
it glides through silt, by nature bottom fed.
                                 
Whoever named it named himself a man
of undisputed Christian eye,
who saw in mortal depths a guardian
 
and humblest trumpeter. God tongue to cry,
it haunts an earth too dread for dread-
filled man til rapture calls: Arise and fly.

Published by American Poetry Journal, 2004. Copyright © 2004 by Hailey Leithauser. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Hailey Leithauser

by this poet

poem
Fear streamlined to elegance
   and elegance made mute
within this skin of gunmetal
   and gash mouthed grin. Repute
would have the monster cruel—untrue—
   for mannerly cruelty
demands a heart, unwitnessed
   in its calm machinery.