An Open Letter to the Blue Whale on the Ceiling

You were, if such a thing
is possible, even bigger than I

The rest of the room had shrunk
as I grew; infinite clatter and light
grew sapphire and silent,
and the ceiling--horrible ceiling--
had dropped.

The baby ran from taxidermied sea lions
to brass-dipped giant clams,
excitedly pointing out
the empty scallop shell beside the roaring beasts,
the way the letters of the clam's name glowed
in the underwater dark.

I walked the full length of this blue ballroom
before finding your eye,
flat and empty in its painted depth.
You did not blink, but neither
did I, floating stunned in the currents
of your terrifying, shy smile.

Children ran beneath you dizzily
singing sea shanties,
while onscreen the jellyfish
unfolded her glittering heart.

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