The Library of Congress

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Poem Number 22

Remora, Remora

Thomas Lux

Clinging to the shark
is a sucker shark,
attached to which
and feeding off its crumbs
is one still tinier,
inch or two,
and on top of that one,
one the size of a nick of gauze;
smaller and smaller
(moron, idiot, imbecile, nincompoop)
until on top of that
is the last, a microdot sucker shark,
a filament’s tip – with a heartbeat – sliced off,
and the great sea
all around feeding
his host and thus him.
He’s too small
to be eaten himself
(though some things swim
with open mouths) so
he just rides along in the blue current,
the invisible point of the pyramid,
the top beneath all else.


From The Cradle Place
Houghton Mifflin, 2004

Copyright 2004 Thomas Lux.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).