Saturday Poem

Seeing Whales

You can go blind, waiting

Unbelievable quiet
except for their
soundings

Moving the sea around

Unbelievable quiet inside you, as they change
the face of water

The only other time I felt this still was watching Leif shoot up when
we were twelve

Sunlight all over his face

breaking
the surface of something
I couldn’t see

You can wait your
whole life

*

The Himalayas are on the move, appearing and disappearing in the snow in the Himalayas

Mahler
begins to fill
the half-dead auditorium
giant step by
giant step

The Colorado
The Snake
The Salmon

My grandfather walks across the front porch
spotted with cancer, smoking
a black cigar

The whales fold themselves back and back inside the long hallways of
salt

You have to stare back at the salt
the sliding mirrors
all day

just to see something
maybe

for the last time

*

By now they are asleep
some are asleep
on the bottom of the world
sucking the world in
and blowing it out
in wave-
lengths

Radiant ghosts

Leif laid his head back on a pillow and waiting for all the blood inside him
to flush down
a hole

After seeing whales what do you see?

The hills behind the freeway

power lines

green, green
grass

the green sea

by Michael Dickman
from The End of the West
Copper Canyon Press, 2009

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