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Shoal of Sharks

Richard O'Connell
"Oh, look at all the porpoise!" someone shouted 
While passengers ran to snap their cameras; 
But what they leaned toward was a shoal of sharks 
Before us, moving like a floating island: 
A seething multitude of tails and fins 
Fleeing the fury of a hurricane 
Hundreds of miles away. They splashed and swarmed. 
Slashing the sea to threads of hissing foam 
Beneath us, tossing bellies to the sun. 
Staring into the blood pits of our eyes 
Ferocious for the flesh and stench of us. 
Lucky for us high on our high-tech ark 
Looking back on life's primeval broth 
At such perpetual and perfect kin.

First published in National Review. Copyright © 2001 by Richard O'Connell. Used by permission of the author.

First published in National Review. Copyright © 2001 by Richard O'Connell. Used by permission of the author.

Richard O'Connell