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Whales used to have legs.

I’ll have to stay in the tub for ages, float while I sleep and never kick
a leg separate.

Me?  I don’t change.
I adapt with layers and coats foolishly
shed for sun.  I can’t believe in my body.
I wear contacts, shave my legs, listen to music quietly.
I write my desire.  The planets turn.

A shallow pool, eventually, is as much as I can expect.
Get pregnant in the water?  Easy.  Give birth?
Custody split two ways, until 18 years of age, half time with me,
half on land with an aqueous-fetish father.
Have two or more children–
one is sure to choose the water, and make it, perhaps, to a small freshwater pond.

Or not.  Not willing to give up my legs, say,
for the sake of some sharper sense, some new world,
however torturous for the first few generations.
This new life, relatively, is for whales.

Which was last to stick to sand?
That’s okay, whale said, I’ll watch from here.
How far, far enough to think, forget this,
even the waves drown?
Their backs slap the surf as great hulks, sacks, and paddles
to pebbles.  Enough to squint and see
they’re not coming back, and they’re too far to follow.
First beached whale.

If I spent enough time in the bath, could I survive without water?
Could I drink it, dirt laden, through my algaed skin?

It’s time to get out.
It’s time to show myself my hands.

Posted 12/21/10
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