It is not the whale that I fear.
That large beast bellows empty threats,
submerged directly under me,
but it is not what I fear.
Instead, I fear the whale’s home.
The whale is mortal, but the sea is not.
That beast’s tortures may cease, but the sea’s
waves are eternally present, eternally threatening.
The storms are white and rapid; they hit the sides of my
small and sea-worn ship over and over.
It steals the prayers I cry out with its currents,
washing aboard no answers, but fear.
It is not the whale, the evocation of the ocean’s horror,
that truly causes me harm.
The water retains my anxious and broken lungs,
until it spits me out onto a sweet saving shoreline,
promising to return again if ever it wanted me.