Emily Rand Breitner
Boothbay Harbor, Maine

I’m leaning on the ship’s rail
taking the night air,
the sky ravished
by streaks of violent color

when a blue whale breaches
so close that I am power-washed
by its jeroboam-sized spray.

It might have surfaced a mile away;
The ship might be a mile off-course;
I might be napping in my cabin
or tucking in to a five-star prime-rib.

But none of these possibilities pertain.
Instead, a huge sky rolls out the fireworks,
a whale needs air.
And I am here.

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