Perhaps tidal, wind, or thermohaline
This morning’s light is a corridor to evening
and I am passing through the day again,
walking among seaweed draped boulders,
rain falling on my head.
Sometimes I’m out this early looking
for the wentletrap and tucked topsnail,
a ribbon of kelp, and other times
I’m simply walking, imagining
the Kittliz murrelet eating krill,
and our nearby glacier feeding into the sea
at 90 feet per day.
Unusual Mortality Event
Gray whales may be exhausting their energy reserves
before they reach the arctic to resume feeding. ~NOAA
Our island is shaped like a snowbird—
the whale rots
near Earl West—barnacled beach,
We are #8—a graph, a pie chart,
timeline, map of whales.
Above the sediment
in the water column
gray whales seek
Normally, bottom feeders
and food from
the seafloor, roll on side, swim along slowly
leave long trails of mud. Feeding pits.
and not enough food.
1,000 miles round trip,
back to the Arctic.
Clam Gulch, Chignik Bay, Kodiak Island, Copper River Delta,
Egg Island, Turnagain Arm.
This newest migration of maps and data into our homes—the whale pose.
We see children standing for the photograph—in front of the dead whale—
one older child is holding up another child in her arms—
offering each breath to the Earth.
Vivian Faith Prescott was born and raised on the small island of Wrangell, Alaska, on the land of the Shtax’heen Kwáan. She lives and writes as a climate witness at her family’s
fishcamp. She is a member of the Pacific Sámi Searvi and a founding member of Community Roots, the first LGBTQIA group on the island.