Beside the Skeleton of a Blue Whale

I found it,

One morning slowly pushed to shore

A sagging face hung, like the beaten tongue of an old shoe.

Slack jawed, stretched, eighty feet, from tail to tooth,

A new horizon of old bone.

Today’s dinosaur.

The sea levels must have plunged,

When what used to be this creature was stolen from its depths,

As though it were pulled out like ice cubes from a glass of water.

It sleeps for now on the edge of town.

Dwarfing my existence,

Flush in its rot,

The smell of gulls collecting interest,

Circling, thrashing, at those two sad crater-sized eye sockets.

Elegant in the empress sea.

Bankrupt on land.

Consumed by the same gravity as me.

We stood in soft decay,

As gnats fed for an audience

Like eagles at a mountaintop.

Starved machines arrived

To harvest the sea’s offering,

Its porcelain architecture.

Anatomy tied to a flatbed truck,

The stationary airplane shaped skull lay

With the ocean wind passing through it.

Ribs clutched, interweaving together like a fist,

A dead prison to plankton,

Mute xylophone spine,

And biologists wiped the blood from their glasses,

As they climb to spoon out samples,

While I mourned in sacrificial heat,

Kicking red sand over leftover meat

Back into the crust.

(Tonight I read THIS STORY and was reminded of a poem I wrote over two years ago. These types of stories are haunting. How the Rulers of the Ocean are paralyzed helpless at our feet, on our beaches. Beside the Skeleton of a Blue Whale first appeared in Inkwell Journal’s Spring 2011 issue.)

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