Hey there! The Ionian is clear & cool here. A woman
repeats gallina, mimes with elbows out & clucks.


Do I start with the Ionian village? Call it fairweather? Mention a woman who
turns a local chicken incantatory, aping it with gestures and voice?


Do I admit that my mind keeps going to the possible whales out of sight?
Do I admit that I wonder about their bathroom habits and deaths?


It shames me: my mind dives under to imagine beasts
and when I whale-dream, it’s not breath and song. Just shit and death.


I wade into the shallows to escape the lack of rain
and gesture my own whale fall, consider the fat inside bones.


I submerge myself in upside-down rain
and make like a dying whale, enter spoiled egg world.


To tell the truth, people laugh at my model trains, but they are
merely unrecognizable covers of songs none of you remember.


Stop laughing at my grown-up toys
as if they’re any worse than your forgetful cover band


and anyway, I have plans to change. I’ve got luxuries
ahead of me that you wouldn’t believe.


Why should I unmake myself? Even the most
comfortable cats will envy my future,


plough through the seasons, pieces of birds in their mouths,
and never come to terms. Who am I kidding?


wings dripping from teeth, they perpetually attack
the advancing year. They are stupid. I too.


And yet. There’s something about that comfort—
the cat’s or the wing’s—something stupid and warm.


The wings (even the cat) flap, resonate with the cozy
epiphany. Say what you will: it’s there.


It shoves its plankton at you while you’re underwater
till you’re all green and nostrils flare with news.


You eat it up like oysters, underwater
mouths wide open, filter feeding news,


never missing the power to digest. The whistle
calls you at attention, to swim the rip tide like a treadmill.


You’ve learned nothing. Who cares? Hello, whistle!
As ever, you’re ready to tread the shattering water.



We wrote this poem as a means of introduction. One of us would write two lines, which the other would “translate” and then add two more, et cetera.