With love



Does a blue whale know he is blue?

A 1982 Ford Sedan heart—breaking down at fourteen miles per hour.

If your underbelly is eighty percent krill 

and twenty percent aluminum coke cans,

How long until those debris bones, those metal tiger stripes

in buttermilk, turn the boat belly into a cherry milkshake?

The remnants of throwing out love by its neck

never really go away.

They lodge themselves into that balloon throat,

tonguing words to be retched, but stuck just enough

to stifle sound, dry-heaving—


How long until briny backwash calcifies in the blowhole

that the water drowns you from the inside out—

that you slaughter yourself out of your need for respite.

Elizabeth Hsieh