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Poetry

He made the Leviathan for the sport of it,
The Lord of my childhood. Her fluke

The size of two sleek rowboats
For lifting and drawing down

Knifelike into the water
Or for slapping—so many gestures

A fluke or fin can make with or
Without ruin. I remember

A whale rolling sideways
Just—it appeared—so I could see her

Waving or flirting, her eye deeply
Winking at my eye, no more

Human for that. Can’t
Even say she was real beyond

The tide of my imagining or I
Beyond hers, so completely out

Of scale were we, so soundly
Did she sink and finally not

Come up. The Lord of my childhood
Made her to flirt and nurse, to sing

But not to me, for
Enchantment and for love. Believing

I am not superstitious, I make
Her like any muse

To bewilder me, to say
As the wave curls overhead cast

Loose, be charmed, be lost, for
God’s sake remember, be wild.

Psalm 104, for Lincoln Ure


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