The Ugly

I love you as I love the Hatchetfish,

the Allmouth, the Angler,

the Sawbelly and Wolf-eel,

the Stoplight Loosejaw, the Fangtooth;

all our sweet bathypelagic ones,

and especially those too terrible or sly

even for Latin names; who staple

their menfolk to the vagina’s hide

like scorched purses, stiff with seed;

whom God built to trawl

endless cathedrals of darkness,

their bland eyes gaping like sores;

who would choke down hunger itself,

had it pith and gristle enough;

who carry on their foreheads

the trembling light of the world.

from Grain (Picador, 2009), © John Glenday 2009, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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