8. The Question

In their living room a row of tubes emerges from a space near the French doors. The tubes curve up like strange wine glasses or the necks of luminous ostriches, filled to the rim with water.

Often a whale rises slowly and surfaces and squeaks or chirps at a person nearby in a rocker or easy chair. If the person is unresponsive, the animal bends its body and descends down-tube, undulating its way to a nearby lake, maybe, or a sea gray in the moonlight or green and flat in the sun, where the whale’s song echoes.

The dog stirs. Outside, a hollow wind blows at the house. Eggs rattle on a human palm in the garden. Soon, the trees are filled with small red birds with beaks like needles.

A bearded boy pauses at the curb. He checks his pockets. Counts the change. He calls to friends down block. They hear wings. They sense movement. They run best they can with their canes from what might drop from the sky at the shadows’ passing.

Yet another whale surfaces. She wonders why her spots are white, flight impossible, and when did these questions appear, changing me forever. All these years the world has been quiet and repetitious. Calls go unanswered.

The dog lowers his chin. A cat shadow passes on the floor. And down again the whale goes. She returns to the lake or to the sea, maybe, after swimming years to find here and find here what?

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