You were the beluga in a square of deep pulsing (so much pressure pressing its lifeline against the glass) and I was the girl come to read
those waves, the girl just back from the once whaling town a few roads over, but not really a girl; more like a starter woman so unpossessed
of herself she almost didn’t know her own name, and what I mean to say is I’m sorry I stopped in at Mystic where tallow was once
rendered from the fat of cetaceans, and sometimes I feel I could apologize forever for everything and never feel fulfilled by my shame,
but they’re not pulling leviathans from those piers anymore—it’s all squall-buffed wood and saltwater taffy, which is disgusting if you want
to know, all weather gathered in dramatic draping of ecru velvet… verily you were the beluga who made eyes at me through the pane
as if it were that easy to love a human being, how you held me in a gaze so cinematic I could have been a sea witch or selkie.
Sonia Greenfield is the author of two full-length collections of poetry. Letdown was selected for the 2020 Marie Alexander Series and published by White Pine Press. Boy With a Halo at the Farmer’s Market, won the 2014 Codhill Poetry Prize and was published in 2015. Her chapbook, American Parable, won the 2017 Autumn House Press/Coal Hill Review chapbook prize. Her work has appeared in a variety of places, including in the 2018 and 2010 Best American Poetry, Antioch Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, and Willow Springs. She lives with her husband, son, and two rescue dogs in Minneapolis where she teaches at Normandale College and edits the Rise Up Review. More at soniagreenfield.com.