Watching the Oregon Whale

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A hard gray wave, her fin, walks out on the waterthat thickens to open and then parts open, around her.

Measured by her delved water, I follow her fillinto and out of green light in the depth she has spun

through the twenty-six fathoms of her silent orison,then sink with her till she rises, lulled with the krill.

Beads of salt spray stop me, like metal crying.Her cupped face breathes its spouts, like a jewel-wet prong.

In a cormorant's barnacle path, I trail her, spundown through my life in the making of her difference,

fixing my mouth, with the offerings of silence,on her dark whale-road where all green partings run,

where ocean's hidden bodies twist fathoms around her,making her green-fed hunger grow fertile as water.

© Annie Finch