by Lee Sennish
Cars backed up to where the geraniums
manned the empty lifeboats in the square,
we went to see the grounded whale.
The shale bit through our sneakers.
Maggie up on your shoulders,
the sunset spilling its grenadine
above the crowd, voyeurs, to see
a leviathan who trolled the harbor
for a week before he trussed his bulk
upon the Wellfleet beach, still
now, only for an occasional flap of tail.
The eyes in the massive snout begged
go away, welcoming the fog and chill.
Ashamed, we retreated to the parking lot
where Maggie from her car seat said,
“This is where the monsters cut their feet.”
Calliope Come Back
Unlock this tongue, any ransom.
The fireworks are set for your return.
I expect Vesuvius or at least a wave
from the presidential car, sparklers
around your neck and toes, cinnamon
in your crocodile mouth, on three hours
sleep, nine cats wide, eleven hounds long.
Lee Sennish’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in decomP, Kestrel, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Alembic, Scholastic Magazine, The Blue Door Quarterly, and The Forum. Her chapbook, I Choose Fire, was a finalist for the Slapering Hol Press Sanger-Stewart Chapbook Contest. She received an M.A. in literature from Hunter College, where she was advised by Jean Valentine. She currently takes courses at the Hudson Valley Writer’s Center and lives in Cottage Valley, N.Y.
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