The Dead Whale Traveling Circus



She looked at the sky. It had no clouds or drones or gods.
It was empty.
She stared into a grasshopper’s eyes. At first, only her own
moon face reflected back. But in the depths,
between the atoms, it was empty. All this space thrilled her to delight.


The couple remembered the dead whale traveling circus.
For five bucks, you could
eyeball “Little Arby” floating in a trailer.
A whale fetus
like disintegrating sandwich meat is sad entertainment.
But for them, the whale is a constellation
drifting across the womb-cosmos of memory.


Every night, he leaves his glass unwashed in the sink
as if to say, “mañana.”
She, the pessimist, doesn’t assume the existence of mañanas.
But sometimes within the panorama of space
she sees tomorrow
looking back: without eyes, with a twinkle.


Sharon Suzuki-Martinez is the author of The Way of All Flux (New Rivers Press, 2012), winner of the New Rivers Press MVP Poetry Prize. She received Pushcart and Best of the Web nominations, and was awarded fellowships to the Anderson Center at Tower View and Kundiman. She created and curates The Poet’s Playlist