Loose grime and stringy meat
that comes away in the water
and lies in wait by the drain,
tangled in the silverware,
ready to snarl like seaweed
around the pruned fingers that clutch
in the dark to clean the forks and knives.
Cold, gray and scuzzy water—
reason to fear sharks below,
to fear the chum they’ve spit out
not good enough to get stuck between their teeth,
not good enough to wave alongside the gristle
from where a surfer’s arm was severed
uncleanly from its shoulder.