Hello Again, Trieste

After the first recorded whale fall, 1977

We say goodbye, lying.

Still there might be

a moment of sadness at her turning—

the great blue wash of her fin

a fading wave.

         Sunset over the spreading sea.

Time melts—

the black pool of her eye

opening wide,

dripping into the beckoning deep:


dizzy fall

sweet kiss of hagfish and sleeper shark

tearing her bruised plum body.

         A seed dropping like a stone.

On this the barren planet of the seafloor

her bones bloom,

bristleworms making a home in her ribs.

If she had a heart

they would let it rot,

too enamored with her rib cage

to pay it mind—

her brittle-edged bones

home, hearth, and harvest.

But who is she, great blue mother,

to the unimaginably small?

a grain of sand

eats at her with less indifference—

the equalizing embrace of bacterial mats

consuming her lipids, her sulfides

for limpet shells

and clam teeth.

         Crumbled and granulated at last.

We say hello again, Trieste,

see her face in every snail shell,

in every glint of fish scale

in the froth off every wave

that rolls over her great blue.

“Hello Again, Trieste” is the third of six pieces in ROOTED, which won the Gold Medal Portfolio Award for writing sponsored by the New York Times in the 2023 Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards.

1 Comment

  1. Michele fratta says:



Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.