The Lyric Poem Prize
Awake Again at Two a.m.
The moon looks out from the smooth skin
of night, says Eye of whale, its voice
two measures shy of full on the waning.
Tufts of cloud sift by like licks of ocean spume.
But that taut gray drumhead of sky--
Remember the time you rode the back of a dolphin,
the solid density of its flesh as you held on?
The moon interrupts, repeats, louder,
Eye of whale. Well, say earth
is the heart of that whale? Say
someone far away listens for that sound,
the one when it surfaces and the blowhole blows.
That hollow echo, like a cave catching its breath.
Don’t you feel the surge as we orbit?
See constellations streaming like krill cluster?
Yes, says the moon, the earth is the heart of that whale.
Listen. Can’t you hear the drum of its beating?
The drum of its beating inside this gray night?