to hear me reading this poem at the Drew 2010 Winter Residency, click
to read much earlier drafts of this work, go to here
The Bull Sea Lion
Ocean-skinned in neoprene, bug-faced,
web-footed, descending, cold, searching,
gasping at my sudden shadow,
all looming black lithe ton of him.
Every nerve screams flee in the face
of his face, of his mass, but mammal flesh
draws mammal flesh. Yearning, a fear unfelt—
I reach my human hand to him.
What he could do he does not. He considers
me, rolls belly up, leans into me rumbling
I knew your mother once, surges muscle
and dives. His bulk becomes
a churn of bubbles, each an egg sac bursting
empty, each my selkie child unconceived.