Inside the whale, it is as if
you have always been inside a whale,
as if there is only inside the whale.
It is as if there was before the whale
and now. And in now,
you will always be inside a whale. . . .
Inside the whale, you do not understand
why you are inside a whale. It is even difficult
to determine it is a whale. You may recall
the sea, and the ship, and going over the side,
but the whale you never saw. (Q: What is
the hardest angle for identifying whales?
A: From inside the whale.)
From inside the whale, you cannot guide
the whale. A whale will do as a whale will do.
You may throw your body to one side
or another to try to steer the whale;
you may attempt to use the power
of your mind to influence the whale.
Your mind is of a greater capacity
than the whale’s mind, but again,
a whale will do what a whale will do. . . .
When inside the whale, it is best to be
inside the whale. Do what you are inside
the whale to do. Of course, you may use
only what was with you when thrown overboard.
No one packs to go inside the whale.
However, you should not try
to agitate the whale. It doesn’t help
if the whale ejects you too far from shore.
Unfortunately, you have forgotten about shore
and think there is only inside the whale.
When you find yourself inside a whale,
meditate and rehearse journeys to
outside the whale. Know these
are skills that must be rehearsed
before needed. Practice the pitch
in his tenuous rumble, taste the acid
of his gentle lurp. Consider the feel
of baleen brushing against skin,
and the way his rough tongue reopens
your atrophied, unremembered eyes.