30 miles due north or south of the equator,
in mirror-flat ocean warmed by sun,
the trade winds and westerlies
negate one another, and cargo ships
stall for weeks, their desperate crews
falling ill in abundance: water everywhere,
and not a drop.
What will lighten them, they throw over:
shrieking horses tossed in the drink
easy as teabags, flanks smacking the surface.
Some try to swim to their men,
to climb back aboard, but hooves are not hands.
They can only sink,
haunches coming to rest
against the brackish, slightly swaying frames
of fellow equine dead,
all made new –
their flesh into food for fish,
their bones, cleaned to shine in whatever
algoid light can reach them –
now a mosaic, now a landscape.