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SARDINE MACHINE

(Monterey Bay Aquarium Kelp Forest)

They shoal in sweep formation, swarming gleam
with tail-flick wave through smooth curve like a wrist
volplaning pivots, wheels, quick tinfoil stream-
line motion shines a mirror-clouded twist;
upspiraling, the myriad uncoils wide
slowly to merge, a heartform of barbed glass
in ripple assembly, pours to hanging glide,
mingling of angles in bright matrix mass…
Then, turning, round side eyes, a chorus line
of sight, as startle vision multiplies–
Unarmed armada, designerless design
of silver seraph unison, you replicant rise
around no throne but hunger’s, endless flight
breeding in tiny metonymies of light

for Hart Crane


Artwork: Adam Christensen