Two Poems – Bex Hainsworth 

IceFloe Press

Two Whale Sharks Collide at Georgia Aquarium

The giant window is lit up like a cinema screen
and a crowd has formed, lapping against the glass.
For a few moments, the water is vast and empty,
just the murky shadow of a manta ray lurking
in the corner of the blue backdrop. And then they arrive.

Two leviathans, loosed from the chariot of Oceanos,
slide silently into view. A scattering of spots
shimmering on each back is a galaxy; stripes stretch
like swimming pool ripples. They are two games
of noughts and crosses drawn in nautical chalk.

These gormless Goliaths float towards each other,
mouths gawping, mirror images, drawing
closer like they are re-enacting a creation myth.
They appear to be gearing up for the gentlest joust
and the spectators gasp, lift phones and cameras,

preparing for the titans to clash. Disaster occurs
in slow motion as their fins brush…

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