For National Poetry Month, I thought I'd post one of my poems. And a photo of the very real mammal that inspired the poem.
THE AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN
The sudden pink shape
surfacing in black-water lagoons
shocked explorers of the Amazon-River basin.
All dolphins share man’s thumb and fingerbones,
but these also wear his flesh.
When the river overflows
each rainy season and floods the varzea,
these dolphins travel miles from the channel
to splash in the shallows
amongst buttress-roots of giant
rainforest trees, never stranding themselves.
The waters abate, trapping fish,
Local legends claim a lamp burning dolphin oil
blinds. At night
the pink-flesh contours melt and blur.
The flipper extends the hidden hand
to lift its woman’s torso
to the land. An Eve,
born each night from the black Amazon,
roams the dark banks for victims to draw
to the water and death.
Taboo to the Indians,
this pink daughter of the river’s magic
always looks, to explorers,
like she’s smiling.
Published in Heart’s Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009)