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The small white whales in packs of pods
keep their pacts with us, the fated beasts.
They wail their songs and the water wavers,
and we who signed them waive our rights
to have them. Here is where they belong,
all right, and here is where I leave them:
their pale, bountiful bodies to the sea.
I see a pail of fish and I would rather
feed on palm wood than palm one up
to shed it to those seabirds. To bate the brink
of bygone beauty, I bring no bait. A thatch shed
on the shore would keep me closer. O idol
of the gulls and wingèd seagirls and idle guitar
players, paddle deep and far off from my kind
who peddle our wares like love-me-kindly petals.