All month long police in riot gear
crowded the city like novitiate whales
learning the trick of baleen. Of all
the underwater currents never mind
the one that’s going to turn. A mother
I know just buried her son but that’s only
an expression. She had him turned
into ash. Easier to imagine the big peace-
able bodies of whales—their cargo,
their bioluminescent wattage--
than a mother’s attendant grief. A hunger
so vast the whole goddamn ocean pours
black & guppied & vigilant into your throat.
ELYSE FENTON is the author of Clamor. Her manuscript "Sweet Insurgent" won the 2013 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her writing has appeared in American Poetry Review, Bat City Review, The Massachusetts Review, and The New York Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon.