The Feeling of the World As a Bounded Whale Is the Mystical [The child affixes], by Darcie Dennigan


The child affixes one of her little pictures to my refrigerator. 
She asks, Can you detect the radiation? 

There is a house, one tree, and grass in dark slashes. A sun
shining. Beneath, in her child letters, she has written Chernobyl. 

At kindergarten they must be having nuclear energy week. 

One could look at the picture and say everything is in order. 
No, I say, I cannot see the radiation. 

The radiation poison, she says, sits 
inside the apple and the apple looks pretty. Then she singsongs, 

Bury the apple and bury the shovel that buried the apple 
and put the apple-burier person in a closet forever. 

We are both thinking Then bury the burier.
Both thinking of her picture with no people. 

The poison sits inside the people and the people 
still look pretty, she says. Still, she says, sweetly, Away with them. 

The child is not a flincher, which is why I love to tell her stories: 

Of the poisonous man who tumbled into the cold sea 
and turned the sea poignant. 
His bones glowed in the cold deep like dying coral. 
His ribcage was a cave for small, lost fish. 
Flecks of his glowing skin joined with green algae 
on the sea surface, where, on a boat, his widow choked 
as she looked down the sun shaft for her husband's greening body.

What is sunlight through seawater most like 
but the strange green fire 
that burnt the man? 
—Who had worked atop a steel hill until a whale—
a great green whale—bumped into the continental shelf 
and the steel hill cracked and its poison leaked out. 
And the man began to melt...

What I am jealous of in the child, what I really detest in her 
is how she nods 

with kindergarten grace and finality. Primly, into her pinafore, 
she tucks what I've told of the story. 

On the refrigerator her picture looks so pretty. 
There is no end to the green or pollen or the feeling of the bees coming.

Or of a hill and sky of poison. 

On fire, the man working on the reactor must have looked wavy— 
like a man trying to ride a humpback through the fast green sea. 

Her picture on the refrigerator looks so pretty. 

When I wake her from her nap I will ask 
if the dark green slashes are meant to be 
radiance, not plain grass.

 

{your interpretation/general thoughts}

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s