Something frozen is falling from the sky.
In Mumbai, the unthinkable.
I am you.
Between us is an illusion of separateness.
So easy to take for granted the ones we love
and to write off the ones we don’t even know.
Like a whale, I nurse my young.
Like a whale, I push my baby up to the surface
every four minutes, teach her to breath,
do everything I can
to guarantee her a future.
But the seas are rising, the ice melting,
the jellyfish, strangely transparent, encroaching,
the manatees dying
the bush burning
the days numbered
the hours precious,
and the penguins so much smaller than you expect.
Like a whale, my cry
pierces these deep waters.
My father called today.
He left a brief message:
“Call me when you get a chance. There’s something I want to talk to you about.”
I felt like a child, sure I was in trouble.
I felt remorseful for my lack of gratitude.
My sullenness and agitation.
I felt like I might throw up.
I called him back.
He asked me the name of those socks Greg likes from EMS.
I whispered to Greg in the darkness
on the living room floor,
tried to describe how transparent my soul felt,
like a membrane,
slippery, exposed, unprotected.
I can’t write about Mumbai or polar bears or genocide.
These are too big, too distant.
But to look into a dolphin’s eye
and see myself –
to reveal, for a few fleeting dark moments,
something so guarded and scared –
these I can do.
We have been here for 200,000 years.
This is a brief experiment.
To say to you, I have seen the truth,
would this sound lofty and preposterous?
What I mean is simple, honest, unassuming,
and unfathomably beautiful.
How could love be anything but this?