Derelict Fishing Gear

It is dark and cold in the abyss.
The ocean does not give back
the offerings made to the depths.

Tangled, torn and grown shaggy with seaweed,
nets entwined as if in a lover’s embrace.
Or maybe strangulation is a more apt term—
knotted together, bitter and bound in the aftermath.

Remnants of enmeshed death,
memories of struggle and scales,
glass marble eyes
and bodies pressed so tightly
that the diamond webbing digs into sleek silver,
engorged with gasping gills
and feathered flashes of deep pink:
proof of life that will not last much longer.

Afterwards the nets hang heavy and silent
and the deck is sluiced clean of suffering.
Again and again the cycle bears out,
wide mouths tossed to the sea
taking everything in a plotted path
until one day something snaps
and death sinks down
in slow motion
settling into sediment,
reclaimed by the sea.

Now life crawls across the rusted metal,
blooms over the rotting wood
and chews at the fibers;
barnacles freckle the surface
and velvety algae oozes over everything.
The teeth of this great beast have been taken,
have been softened in shadow,
have become haunted.

The once hunter now devoured by the deep.