The river is a mirror three miles wide,
Where our white wake cuts out a crescent moon
That rides upon the gently rising tide.
We anchor and we fish, while some old tune
Of love gone wrong floats on the air.
Shrimp, pink as my own thumbs, as big around,
On weighted lines rigged with a double snare,
Sink in the summer waters of the sound.
Such sweetmeats, Father, set to lure
The slimy spot and croaker to our hands!
In brotherhood unspoken and obscure,
I hold the hissing lantern while your knife
Splits belly after belly in its turn
And wonder, what cold, ancient monstrous life
Would not be drawn to coiling round the stern?
We wash our hands and pack up for the night,
Slinging the guts in water warm as blood.
The engine turns, the beacon blinks its light
And I keep watch behind as if I could
Defend us from Leviathanís attack.
Sunk in the brine, the silver blades now beat
A brilliant phosphorous spoor out of the black,
A million worlds exploding at my feet,
Wild beauty in the violence that we share,
And then this darkness, darkness everywhere.