there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea!
—D. H. Lawrence
To swallow new names like krill, dive.
You have few tides before you
return to motion. Once this shrine
was the abyssal plain. Once Empire
shackled you. Once you answered
to monster, to dragon, spewing steam, fire
bellowing in the furnace of your hide,
a migrant captured for brown skin’s
labor. Somewhere inside the darkness
where brews flame, a spirit hovers
over the deep. Once before Adam named
you illegal you snaked, breaking
into air. Spit out his poison, jaw-clap
the sea. With your aft-fin’s trailing edge
churn surface to milk. In the beginning,
you were formed with great light.
from NER 38.4
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