The shrieking, spluttering body sinks without trace.
Lost to friends and companions; mourned by family.
Soon, bolstered, bloated, buoyed and emboldened by gas,
it performs its encore and rises from the depths,
to roll just below the surface and meet again the world it left.
Perhaps, today, the sea will be good enough to roll it onto a friendly shore, where kind, good-natured brother souls will scream and vomit
and inform the authorities, who will cordon off, collect small specimens,
assemble the host to photograph this day on the beach for posterity.
Then safely box up and inter the sodden mess in the sweet smelling earth, sprinkle harmlessly with holy water and pile on spades of good loam and woe.
Perhaps, instead, the sea will show no more than the passing interest of
cormorant or gull to peck and preen and flap away, unconvinced, in search of easier pickings. And so to roll and split and groan and trail its oily slick and slowly merge, softening and sinking, clouding to feed the shoals of tiny cold fish. Then settle gently, prepared by the salt sea, a small and busy bottom-feeders' colony to scattering bones, winding weed and welcoming sand.