Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Whale Fall

They're out there right now,
Sarah reminds me during
My morning phone call
From the road. Whales

Are living their watery lives,
Diving, surfacing, hunting,
Grazing krill, socializing,
Fluting their long-distance songs,

Getting on with the strange
Business of being giant,
Lunged mammals with giant
Brains, guts, and organs

Of reproduction, sheathed
In sleek shapes for swimming,
As like and unlike us as if
Wolves became submarines

The size of houseboats.
They're out there, right now,
Bizarre and somehow comforting
Thought as rain falls on the suburbs

Of this inland mountain town,
As humans packed into cars
As sleek and wet as metal
Dolphins cruise around macadam

Thoroughfares, thumping music
Sent through long radio waves,
Mostly not thinking of whales at all,
Thinking only of getting somewhere

Late again, overtaxed, anxious,
Calculating nonexistent futures
Conjured out of schemas, human
Stories about humans being judged

Severely by human peers and gods,
While they're out there, in deep water,
Presumably not praying
To float upward when they die.

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