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?