Whale Poem

Erin Little

Brace for the gun-
metal damp,
the day’s malaise.

The doorway is
a pit and the stairs 
feel ambitious. 

A friend tells me
it matters that I break 
up the day with sleep. 

Skip the dull parts, 
with their beatdown
iron taste, droopy edges. 

The rain falls
bronze out there.
I don’t envy it. 

Beached whale 
blanched ashore.
When the whale

dies it fells the
ocean down slowly,
over the course

of a day. The other
fish see it fall bit by
bit. Heavy with minutes 

turned to hours. 
Dozens of organisms
will move into the body

once it settles—a new
home to sustain them.
Safer inside than out.