grayness

by tobias crabtree

there was that once when your love for me was dying.
remember?

we heard about the gray whale who had wandered up the river.

so we drove to see her as she swam in sad patterns

beneath the bridge.

not talking, holding hands.

there were scientists with their scopes and dials and data,

there were tribesman, the yurok, saying prayers,

we all stood and watched her grayness beneath us.

you were cold, it was august.

and then, after some time, for no known reason,

the whale died.

i drove over the bridge when you were done with me

and i saw the heap she was buried beneath,

and stones and time and fog help things go away.

it was late december.