Hokotashi City, Ibaraki Prefecture
by Meg Eden
Six days before the massive magnitude-9 earthquake that triggered the devastating March 11, 2011 tsunami in northeastern Japan, 50 melon-headed whales beached themselves in the area. This week, over 150 melon-headed
whales beached themselves on two beaches in the same vicinity.
— Paul Seaburn, April 14th 2015
A day like today is grey because
the beach is covered with dolphins!
Sand has become water and the water
has become an uninhabitable place.
People continue to surf but how do you ignore
the fifty bodies, like tea leaves
at the bottom of a scryer’s glass,
heavy and loud in their memorial?
The coast guards carry water
and pour it over the bodies.
What do they expect? That the dolphins
will flip up and walk themselves back to the ocean?
So many have to be put down. So many
are already dead. One by one,
they are scooped up in a bulldozer
and returned to the ocean.
Can any of us know what will happen
six days from now? Let alone six hours?
On the shore, one body flails against
the others, craving the water, knowing
that strange pull of how it both kills
and sustains simultaneously.
Meg Eden’s work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, RHINO and Gargoyle. She teaches at the University of Maryland. She has four poetry chapbooks, and her novel “Post-High
School Reality Quest” is forthcoming June 2017 from California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. Find her online at www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ConfusedNarwhal.