Monday, December 16, 2013

how the girl became a messenger

hands shape the ground beef into a question-mark patty,
she feeds it to the girl who once grew inside her

girl eats patty, asks why do you
call yourself a whale?  mother feels trapped,

should have served girl a traditional
period-patty, tries to put her feelings

into a mental-meat-grinder till the girl's
question comes out in shreds


the girl begins to study whales in effort to understand her mother--
slippery so she tells no one her mother loves water and whale tongues

weigh as much as an elephant, their hearts as much as a car, so, the girl 
infers her mother feels overwhelmed, but is unable to speak 

the weight of it,
the girl runs baths for her mother, lights candles--

she'll feel most at-home here, she thinks, but she'll be lonely--
(blue whales travel in pairs,) so I'll bathe (blue)

with her   so she's not so alone

next, often, they are two whales in a tub  
girl feels questions in her belly, gathers her body

beneath the faucet, imagines a waterfall-ing
into her open palms  this goes on for years

she wrinkles nightly into thumb tips,
remembers the story of Jonah-- 

swallowed by a whale never named,
inside whom he lived for three days

in acidic darkness, before purged
on shore--forgotten, his skin, hair bleached

white from acid  and the smell
had he doubted before

he was a messenger of God,
he never doubted again  

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