Banana Boat with Sharks

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Books on the shelf lean to the open window
behaving like flowers

above them a painting of a purple boat
curved like a banana

and four nut-brown fishermen with spears
curved limbs curved hats and rictus grins

showing rows of separated teeth
the spitting image of the teeth of four sharks

swimming beneath (fish and men with different lungs
kept apart by the signature Annie T who is the artist)

men and fish wide awake and the moment
about to arrive and swell those depths

everything bends past knowing
every painting and every book

is drawn to openings secrets and other sleights
of men gone out to catch and fish that bite

I’m hooked on the crisis plunging through
the twitch of the line on the thumb and the instant after—

the curve of the beautiful craft
in the terrible water