The Whale

They found it, washed up;
Its skin turned into a profusion
Of blue contusions
On the beach of an eastern coast,
By Dawn in some forgetful Province.
Its veins with polymers clotted,
Its veins stuffed to the brim
With the blue tops
From washing-up liquid bottles
And the bits of plastic bags
Which do not disintegrate,
But were inhaled and ingested,
And with their blue incisors and jaws
Ate the great domain of the Whale
From the north, from within.
Now a Princess of Gasses
And wilting barnacles, molluscs
The colour of molasses clinging on;
Now a spectacle, a monolith,
Its last blue breath would speak
Not of people, not of all our sovereigns,
But with a dialect tattooed into the sand,
Something unwrought by human thought,
Inscribed beside sandworms that burrow
And turn, something perhaps of
A motherhood, this matriarch
Which both lived and yet was not alive,
Stolen by an autumnal tide.

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