Nicking shallow swells, the tour boat skims
across green water. Its spray rattles
deck benches, slicker-draped shoulders. We wait
for whales and lean like strung pennants, wet
fluorescence wind-pinned against rails—
a tangy consummation of sea and bile.
How does the horizon hold steady, smudged between wave
and cloud? We scan, committed to the monochromatic
ripple, listen for breath, that leviathan gasp
and belch erupting cone-shaped exclamation.
But only our own pale puffs color the air—
a hiss of flame pinched between thumb and finger.
Wendy Mannis Scher, a graduate of the Low Residency MFA program for Creative Writing/Poetry at the University of Alaska/Anchorage, lives with her family in the foothills west of Boulder, Colorado. Her poems most recently have been published in Rise Up Review, Lunch Ticket, Sugar Mule, and Shout it Out! Poems Against Domestic Violence. In addition to writing, she works as a drug information pharmacist at a poison and drug information center.