just what is it that makes today’s
hammerheads
so different, so appealing?

not to want to know

how it is to be a

hammerhead: what is it like

to be a snarky crackpot

sensationally sick

always seeing 360 degrees

Lorenzini’s ampullae

are swaying away

reporting impulses

collecting electric

stimuli through pores on the hammerhead

in gel-filled small caverns

the address of everything that is sending

alive but not moving, signals

fully buried butterfly rays

are traced back

and sting back bad

the hammermouths are strongly perforated

this will probably be felt, in some way

by the organism, or are you in any doubt

about that? not I

loners the rest of the time, but in mating season

they seek the mob, mein lieber herr gesangsverein*

sharks have tongues too, but very short

flaps, hardly developed voices

*expression of astonishment in german for: my goodness! gorblimey! it reminds of a singing society, a choir

Poem by Sabine Scho
Translated from the German by the poet Ann Cotton
Illustrations by Andreas Töpfer

– taken from the magazine “The Origin of Senses,” Berlin 2015.