I Got Lost

Beach Walk

I found a baby shark on the beach.
Seagulls had eaten his eyes. His throat was bleeding.
Lying on shell and sand, he looked smaller than he was.
The ocean had scraped his insides clean.
When I poked his stomach, darkness rose up in him,
like black water. Later, I saw a boy,
aroused and elated, beckoning from a dune.
Like me, he was alone. Something tumbled between us–
not quite emotion. I could see the pink
interior flesh of his eyes. “I got lost. Where am I?”
he asked, like a debt owed to death.
I was pressing my face to its spear-hafts.
We fall, we fell, we are falling. Nothing mitigates it.
The dark embryo bares its teeth and we move on.

Henri Cole

Henri Cole’s Blackbird and Wolf won this year’s Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize recognizing the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year.

Henri Cole at poets.org

Henri Cole at poemhunter


2 thoughts on “I Got Lost

  1. Oh, those last three lines are amazing. Of course, the entire poem is excellent, but I do love a powerful ending.

    I found a deer carcass in the woods yesterday and had this same type of emotion. I love what he’s saying, the deeper meaning.

    Wonderful poem and post. Thanks, Sistah!

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