Whale World

Here is the beanstalk in winter

Here every surface earns its ice

Here there is a reward for your slowness

Here you will dig turnips from the frozen ground
and cast them into the ocean

Here the whales are platforms to cross
not like the real whales you will (nine years from now)
read as glossy spots of wet ink

Here you will stand on a whale’s spout
and be lifted

Here you can fling a potion and a door will sprout up

Here you can go on in to where it is evening
and discover that you love it there

Here you will find elegance and lower body strength
as the princess

Here as she leaps she lifts her skirts

Here you can hear her taffeta sweep the ice
your taffeta

Here you learn where you want a door to grow
and where a door will not be useful

Here you are only nine
so you can create instructions on how to finish this level
for the Rabbi who is still a family friend

Here you can slide on the ice
with your sister

Here when you are hurt your body is shortened
legs chopped from beneath you

Here if you hold the a-button you can linger in the air
a canyon-jumper

Here the dogs behind you in the living room are both alive
one of them licking a bald spot in the brown rug

Here every entrance feels like a secret entrance

Here the clouds are solid

Here behind you is the record player
the piano with its green glass lamp and stuffed full bench

Here in this house on Hope Avenue there is a basement
always on the verge of flooding

Here in the basement there is a seizure room
with blankets on the floor for one of the dogs

Here the ice shines like glass

Here the cacti have frozen and have lost their needles

Here you will unearth a rocket ship
once you learn where to dig