Oro Valley, AZ
2018, High School, Poetry
Tell me about that one in Indonesia
which washed up with the gnat in its eye, a drop
of tar, a little spittle, & a congealed
fleshy carcass, to which both foreign & native eyes
look on. Two jutting ivory masts like twin philosophers
sit stagnant, but by no means
complacent. The black & barnacled body,
glistening behind wild beasts’ fur, suffers
Scientists agree, it’s the reason the sky looks so much
closer than it did yesterday: the theory of forgiveness
and gravity. & perhaps we, too, are crushed
by the realization of our own weight.
The knife cleaves, carves out reddish-raw absence
crocheted from its belly atop mine. I remind you
how it managed to swim above the blood in these
waters. I simply say to you
there is something in these waters, neither
sky nor squid nor dolphin.
There is oxygen in these waters;
you and I in these waters.
I say there is something in these waters,
and now that something is in me.
Jr., Cleve R. Wootson. “Scientists Have Identified the 50-foot Creature That Washed up on an Indonesian Beach.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 14 May 2017. Web. 23 June 2017.
For most of us, we are land dwellers, landlocked and unaware. It is obvious that had we spent half as many resources and energy into sanctioning ocean pollution, overfishing, and oil drilling as we have to land animals, this toxic symbiosis would be much less toxic. And then once in a while something extraordinary happens for environmental science, as it did on Seram Island back in May: a news headline so monstrous, sexy and exciting, it reunites us with our ancestor and reminds us that it never left; never got any older; any less miraculous; any less terrifying, vulnerable, and hurt. Unlike landfills, the ocean remains within sight and within mind. This is “the realization of our own weight” commanding: Take inventory. Breathe. We’re all in the same boat.