Beneath the Surface by Priscilla Lee

In a fish cleaning station near the equator,
off the coast of Africa, summer stretches
over the barracudas, their long mirrored-chrome
bodies heaped like eel fillets, slung jaws gaping,
red canine teeth exposed as if they still crave
meat and muscle. Even dead, they are a melancholy fish,
never satisfied, always wanting to bite off
more than they can chew, their curious white eyes
in a lidless showdown with an existence
beyond the visible. Maybe they are the spawn
of the serpent who prowled and tempted Eve,
cast into the saltwater. They are terrifying and defiant,
their pointed heads hammering towards the light,
waiting for the first sign of weakness. The fishermen
catch them hovering just beneath the surface.
What is it like to die with your eyes wide open
in the bright sun?

Priscilla Lee

About Russell Boyle

Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 to 10 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from
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3 Responses to Beneath the Surface by Priscilla Lee

  1. AinaBalagtas says:

    Aloha, Russel! It just wanna say thank you. I hope all is well, and my warmest regard. God bless you!

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