They were a sophisticated family of malevolent grampus
who chirped as they swam the southern seas
their smooth bodies flashing glaucous.
Their mode of attack was the sucker punch.
They swam in a well-organized pack, pretending
indifference until, united, they pounced.
Chirping, they stripped their prey to the marrow.
Witness sailors record “a chill winde on the marrow”
upon seeing them swarm a wounded whale
& in the Bestiary of 1263 they are “Vampyres
of the Southern Sea.” But was the salt water
in which they swam, or their song, their gimbal?