The Purse Seiner

“Behold,” the seiner intones through the sea. It sings a diesel song. It sings the knock and wind of winches spilling seine to trawl behind. The schools cannot resist this tune, which brings their glinting, silvered scales to its purse, like lost Atochas rising from the wreck. The crew know catch is coin: the more the nets accrue, the more they bank with every current crossed. This ocean gives and gives pelagic tithe, our seiner takes and takes. It bulges, full. A fatter purse a fatter wallet makes. First hauled, then dumped, now ballast, the fish writhe until they freeze. Above a hungry gull implores. The seiner must ignore its aches.

Matt Poindexter’s poems have appeared in The Awl, Meridian, Greensboro Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.