by Nathan Wade Carter
A sharp word from an audience of teeth,
sharks are like Americans, always moving
to stay what we call alive.
Sharks are like men, all teeth,
to be avoided unless at a safe distance.
You can’t know when they’ll turn on you,
prone to frenzy in a shiver.
The shark book said they’d eat things
that weren’t food. The shark book said
there would be undigested suits of armor,
fur coats and treasure inside great whites.
A morgue-full of sharks
all waiting to come alive and snap
at you as you gawk by,
teeth that can cut you even in sleep,
sharks like sardines, a catalog
of sharks, a history full of sea
flowers, bouquets of coral,
mermaid purses, cups of sand
all colors, cups of sea waters,
each clam pinned open. Still
and serious, sinister and sweet,
shark words start more sparks.
are hard to say.