Frankie McMillan

My father, the oceanographer

knew the language of whales
yet tripped over the sound
of his own name
They say the cure for death
is drowning and for a lisp
a bucket of salt water
In white gumboots he entered
the stomach of a whale
sat brooding under the great arched bones
of a church
invoking the mantra of LFA sonar
whale fall
and echolation
stripped to his underwear,
so great was the heat, and
blubber he said
now there was a word to make you weep

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