white whale

I am wandering, haphazardly at best,

head full of helium and heartbeats running wild

to a hallucinatory rhythm.

History stares sternly at me,

its piercing gaze raising the hairs on

the back of my neck. I’ve

been here. The soles of my shoes

fit perfectly into the craters of footprints

left behind in the dirt. Perhaps I’ve

just walked the entire planet to escape you,

only to return to where I had begun

at the end of my cyclical sojourn.

I wish I could tuck you away

into a password, or a notebook that

collects dust under my mattress,

or a receipt crushed at the bottom of my purse.

But you are my white whale,

an oasis in a desert. Like a drowning fish,

you make me pull my own puppet strings,

even when I’d sworn to cut them short.

I’m drawn to you, hideously and fatuously,

like a wasp is to a beacon.

And on some days, some better ones, the clouds seem to

morph into the contours of your face,

and I laugh from the earth below

at how even the skies

have a little sense of humour.