Susan Gubernat

Celtic swirls of tiger sharks feed
        beneath the bridge over the estuary,
a bridge the salt air has worn as silver
        as their sleek flesh nudging the sand banks,
stirring up a cloudy potion that clears
        when they swim toward the wider ocean mouth,
away from us. There, plump starfish splay
        like mottled hands suctioned onto
slick rocks in pools, and sea anemones
        cling to coral, better to sting their prey
as their wild pink hair sways with the tides.
        It is delicious here, like slurping a cold oyster
in its shell. Happy shipwreck! I’ve yet
        to see a pelican prick her breast and nurse
chicks on her blood, but I believe the myths:
        back fins split in two, we walk onto shore,
shedding scales like skate cases, mermaid purses.
        Or, the wombs emptied, we pour out,
then leave behind a desert wash where,
        for so brief a time, primrose, lily, poppy,
senna, and the wild blue lupine thrive.