On Melville’s White Chapter In Moby Dick
…Lima has taken the white veil; and there is a higher horror in this whiteness of her woe. –-Herman Melville
Every hunter tracks his obsession.
I once was a sailor who learned the sea
is rituals & knots. To survive was my compulsion–
to listen, to read the harpoonist’s skin, study
Queequeg’s tattoos like a nautical chart;
I was blind; Ahab’s goal was not oil.
Jonah prayed as prey–swallowed by the dark.
Our predator sought vengeance the color of wool:
A white battering ram; whale as holy
Sepulcher, sacred buffalo, albino
Flame, a ghostly hole, albatross–ivory,
Not ebony. Ahab’s dreams wore a marble
Pallor; like Lucifer he hunts his prey.
Lucifer’s peg-leg broke in breakers today.