There was a time
when the ocean was in my throat.
Cold, life-rich water sent
messages out like dolphins
spinning down the coast.
I listened and spoke my silvery fish.
There was a chorus, too.
Witchy seabirds wheeled and screamed
my loss and joy; I had only to speak
and the wind hurried my ululation, my lamentation
to an icy continent,
a lemon-crested desert,
a roiling seabed, churning under lava.
I spoke; creation lived.
Now it’s gone. It groans,
and collapses on itself.
Aging and inert, my mouth is dry.
My words are strained; my voice trembles.
Dumb, soundless night lives in my speech.
I cannot lament my father’s death.
My breath cannot support his passing.
Maybe this is to hold him here
longer. Later, I may exhale, and his memory may
rise, briefly, blue and shining in the sun,
twisting in the air like a whale leaving water.
And that is good reason to wait.