The Whale Party

Tonight you told me the story
Of a place called Bolinas
Of The Whale Party…
Of white, tusk archways that once built a living house
And sheltered a soul, mere toothpicks and moth wings
to hold,
A being that could soar sea-cross, split stateside waves
In clean clam-halves without, necessarily, a butterfly’s
breath,
A being born pushing aquatic, pushing from mother water
within to
Mother water without.
Soundless soft entry to life, not like ours
Never broken by a strict hand or the stench of air.

Tonight you told me the story
Of a place called Bolinas
Of The Whale Party…
And I thought
Of that endless roping in of life, that destined luring of her
Back to the before.
Of her last breaths alone on a beach
Somewhere in California.
Like so much washed up debris, but not forgotten
Born deep from the sea and buried deep to the ground,
By hands that still haven’t forgotten
What we’ve always essentially known.
By hands that hoisted, and rerigged her a year later
And lips that sipped the blood of the Other in celebration of
Her,
With no less grandeur, or pomp of circumstance but
This time with guiltless pleasure.
And eyes that devoutly bathed the clean bones that were
now her
With wonder and lust and sorrow for what was.

Tonight you told me the story
Of a place called Bolinas
Of The Whale Party…

And tonight I walked with that story,
And the same rain that fed that same sea through
That City, only a bridge away
But so much farther than thirty small miles
Walked with that story, buried deep in the hump of me
Pressing hard on these bones, this skin that holds,
A smaller, less important edifice
Whose passing far fewer will gather one day to celebrate.
And I faltered on the crest of laughter
And wails.

Marlo Bester-Sproul

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