Academic journal article Antipodes


Academic journal article Antipodes


Article excerpt

After you came back from the hospital

and I made you a cup of tea,

you told me at the kitchen table

about the whale that came in your dreams.

How in those moments of near sleep

at the end of a day's continent

it would appear: a single fluke, that pale spume

the body rising up

to claim you. Next morning

the canals of your ears would be worn out

with whale song. And I knew you had

spent another night

deep under the cold atmospheres,

your body a far-drifting ear

pitched for echo. You began to practice

techniques of breath-holding. Spent hours

in the bath with a watch, trying to learn back

that mammalian reflex: the art

of slowing a heart beat. Four minutes

left you hauling up empty lungfuls, blood

grinding your temples, the black dots fizzing.

Conversation turned foreign: hypoxia and apnea

replaced tired and wish

as though overnight someone had switched

your currency of speech. …

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