Eleanor Wilner


for Carolyn Creedon
Yes, Carolyn, the ocean has its depths, its mezzanine,
the place between the blue, the green and those black waters
where the submarines feel their way by sound, the ear

the only guide when the lights grow dim, the place where
dawn has never reached, and there the giant Alba swims, ellipsis
of the deep, enormity, unseen, except on the sonar's

screen, bright shadow of leviathan or a merlin trick, for
at such a depth, such crushing pressures—it could not
live—and yet. The transitive exists, swimming the fissures,

like a recurring dream or a condor skimming the peaks,
as if Peru had been transposed below, or some great city sunk
and in its long, unlighted streets, finned giants slid along

the canyons of drowned tenements, and went their migrant way
through coral palings, kiosks hung with weed, falling ships
that spun like pearls in honey as they fell, while the great

Alba, scarcely a glimmer against the gloom,
swam on, its jaws wide, ingesting darkness like krill,
until it had swallowed all but its own glowing self,

and, tired of the conceit, shed its tons of matter,
rose in time to see first-light ignite the waves,
back in the blue delight of dawn, its ravishing until.
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