“You Are What The Whale Says” by Quinn Rennerfeldt

You Are What The Whale Says

Perhaps, upon death,
we go to a place
of whale songs,
like a womb,
dark mottled pink.
The only light
a watery moon
dressed in clouds
so that we are all
a little bit sea-blind,

pacified by
the serous vibrations
of a gut note
spilling out of
every pore and
follicle, spout
and mouth.

I like to imagine
that right now,
you are air
cycling through
a humpback’s head,
leaking out in long
furtive lowing
that splits the air
like razor-wire through
a block of butter.

You are soundwaves speeding
through waves
of brackish saltwater.
You are vibrations
reaching the coasts
of Greenland.
You are a pulse
through squid skin.

Maybe tonight
you will nerve-hair
haunt me with your
groan tones, leave me
with that liquid
feeling in the spine,
the breathlessness

of water displaced
by sound, the intake
of breath before
speaking, so I can
remember you a little
alive, a little sound
like a sea g-d
in song.


Quinn Rennerfeldt earned her degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a currently lives in San Francisco with her daughters, husband, and menagerie, though her heart belongs to Denver. Her work can be found in Slipstream, Cider Press Review, Bird’s Thumb, Sassafras, Progenitor, and BloodLotus, among others.

Featured image by Ryan Loughlin

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