The Whale's Wife

You keep telling me
everything is like water.
See-through, soluble,
impermanent. Picture
wet pantyhose
on a clothesline. But
are we made of nylon or flesh?

When you are told to dive,
will you do it now,
knowing this?
I have watched them jump,
one by one. And you won't dry out

like a beached whale,
but you will wash up
on the shore, arms
stretched skyward
like flags of surrender.
That is why I tell you
not to jump.

It comes from watching
through sea-goggles. It comes
from knowing and from burying.


- Heather Cadenhead