poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Good, Better, Best

My feet are flippers/ my feet are hooves.
We are both sitting on the edge of the bed with our foreheads pressed in the heels
of our hands. We are pondering the whales.
I like to think about whales when I am naked. Whales
are all slick-fat, all-swim,
blowing and pumping into the mouth
of extinction. The mouth is made of net.
The whale field is always
there. All the whales alive right now are blinking. Their blood
is pulling through the enormous pressure of blubber and ocean.

Out the window above my writing desk
there is a field of lupines and cattails and Queen Anne’s lace.
Beyond that, the dull grey road and the nothing guardrail.
Beyond that, the white church with two long-spouted windows
checkered in purple and heather glass. Today’s sermon:
“Nobody Rides With Ahab”
spelled out in letters on felt behind glass,
while nearby, flanked by four low architectural spikes,
the old black spire harpoons up into the sky.
On the mailbox out front, instead of a name it says: Ride or Die.

Fat keeps me buoyant when I am naked,
once/ we were/ the same billion stars
we came out of the soup/ to hooves and hair/ some of us decided to be whales
and went back into the water.
Feels good underwater. We chase that.
We chase them because we know that.
Better to be a whale than a horse. If we must
live on land, best to breathe light naked/ with all of this skin,
with our mouths of delicate net, in the enormous pressure of air,
sitting on the edge of  bed, staring at our feet
as they turn into harpoons.

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