From what tacky tourist trap did it come,
that keepsake, that ocean’s arrowhead?
I think my grandparents brought it back
from their one & only Carribean cruise.
It rode around in my pocket for a while,
a talisman luckier than a rabbit’s foot
or a saint’s ear. It was not much bigger
than a mole’s snout, but sharp, so sharp.
I imagined serried ranks, sierras,
& the circling fin, evil twin of the sail.
It was—I recall—a kind of off-brown,
the color of moldy leather or dried blood,
but shiny enough to serve as a mirror
for something not quite my reflection
but sharper than a shadow.