See The World

I used to run away constantly. Like, constantly. Like, once a week. Usually my parents would find me within an hour, they knew all the places I would head for; I was a predictable kid, I guess. They’d check the park at the end of the street, the ice cream shop at the bottom of the hill, the big pink house where I thought a princess lived (it was a retired accountant. Once she let me in and made me tea and called my parents to come pick me up.)

Once I made it all the way down to the beach. That time I’d been missing for four hours, Mom had called the cops, it was a whole thing. Apparently I’d caught a city bus even though I had no money and was in bare feet and a tutu, although I don’t remember it. I even made the nightly news.

An Uneasy Peace

It doesn’t fear the harpoon, not physically. It’s the symbolism of it. It’s a totem, like a cross to a vampire, a reminder of power that could be brought to bear again, if needed.

The misshapen head will rise out of the swells and your heart will scream, one lurch and I am in its maw. But it will keep its distance, waves breaking against its back, waiting, listening.

If you sing, if you sing well and loud and true, it will return to the depths having had its fill, and our ships will pass in safety for another year.