He is that creature under the cold Atlantic blanket,
migratory mammal, singing a complex song,
large heart beating in time with mine, wide cetacean
smile, throat pleats, fluke, and fin. All that potential
lamplight and winter warmth stored in his immortal bulk.
No harvested baleen, no corset bone. He’ll never stop
his route, though sometimes he needs to breach,
and once I dreamed he beached. I tried to drag him back
to the surf, where the salt could lick his wounds
and he could open one eye to the sun.
But that was a nightmare. The truth is in the Gulf
Stream, dark shadow spouting, swimming with seals.
Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry has appeared recently in Ilanot Review, Plath Poetry Project, and Solstice, and collaborative work made with Elizabeth Paul has been published in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (BLP) and online at Duende. Rebecca won the 2013 Women’s National Book Association poetry contest. She lives in Western Massachusetts where she teaches writing at Westfield State University and is the editor/director of Perugia Press. Find her at rebeccahartolander.com.