The Mightiest Mammal, Singing

by Kate Finegan

There’s a whale in your stomach, rolling and calling in the deep-blue hours of velvet-dark morning as I press my heartbeat to your back. I know the size of your sadness, its shape. Could I cut from my chest a corresponding piece to feed the warm-blooded beast within you? If the whale breached between your teeth, could I catch it with these hands that used to make you smile, when we bought this three-bedroom house, hung hope on every door like wreaths?  The whale of your loss could live in a kiddie pool downstairs, in the basement, where you could go to watch your own heart break, to see that your grief is neither silent nor still, that even the weakness within you is the mightiest mammal, singing.

Kate Finegan’s work has won contests with Thresholds, Phoebe JournalMidwestern Gothic, and The Fiddlehead; been runner-up for The Puritan’s Thomas Morton Memorial Prize; and been shortlisted for the Cambridge Short Story Prize. Her chapbook, The Size of Texas, is available from Penrose Press.

Artwork by: Kent Andreasen

Bio
Kent Andreasen is a multi-genre photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Links
Website: kentandreasen.com
Instagram: @Kent Andreasen