The stench is unmistakable,
a shape on the black strand
half-buried in wet sand,
my dog runs and rubs her back on it
paws in bliss cycling the sky,
I run too and shout “Away”
and she goes, reluctantly.
The ancestral need in an instant
of covering one’s smell
with a rotten other, wanting on instinct
to merge in the rot, the living with the dead.
The basic wish of plunging into what
is gone and gnawed by the currents,
getting the scent, the tang
and the whisper of the whirlpool.
A spring sun shone on the beach
this morning, with a haze
like a choir slightly ablaze.
The sea roar stared from its maze.
Clouds cruising, glorious day
for a first swim.
The carcass was there, behind me.
I didn’t look at what it looked like.