Whalesong

She broke the surface and took in air
that was when I first saw her
I stood, feet apart so I didn’t fall
on the deck of a six-man boat
watching for movement below 

Crouching to hands and knees below
I see nothing but reflections of clouded air
watching for the shadow of the boat
mimicked by the form of her
cast down with no further to fall 

The calm migration of the Fall
stirs the settled silt below
thickening the water around her
bubbles rise with bursts of air
around the gently bobbing boat 

Back and forth beneath the boat
and into the water my fingertips fall
jolted by cold water and warm air
she glides by, a ballet dancer below
where the ocean breathes around her 

I reach further down, try to touch her
my knees anchored firmly to the boat
but she drifts too far below
and deeper I watch her fall
until all I see are traces of her air