No one will be listening

My whale will live in air, float,
gargoyle, above human heads.  It will
have no secrets, nothing to hide.
Parents will bring children
to learn something.  There will be
measurements, dates, locations, its name,
balenoptera acutorostrata,
there will be a card in the card catalogue,
entry in the thick ledger book locked
in the aquarium’s catacombs (a book
with the names of the dead).
There will be facts to explain everything.
No one will be listening.

One child will leave her parents behind,
roam from the maps to a circle
of tile under the whale.  She will raise her face
to a space between the ribs:
room to hide in.  She has never
loved anything so big, never felt she could be eaten
and live.  What a suite
the whale is
and the girl, its anchoress.

– Esther Spalding, from Anchoress