/sonia greenfield

Mist Connection

You were the beluga in a square
of deep pulsing (so much pressure 
pressing its lifeline against the glass)
and I was the girl come to read 

those waves, the girl just back from 
the once whaling town a few roads 
over, but not really a girl; more like 
a starter woman so unpossessed 

of herself she almost didn’t know 
her own name, and what I mean
to say is I’m sorry I stopped in 
at Mystic where tallow was once 

rendered from the fat of cetaceans, 
and sometimes I feel I could 
apologize forever for everything 
and never feel fulfilled by my shame, 

but they’re not pulling leviathans 
from those piers anymore—it’s all 
squall-buffed wood and saltwater 
taffy, which is disgusting if you want 

to know, all weather gathered in 
dramatic draping of ecru velvet… 
verily you were the beluga who 
made eyes at me through the pane 

as if it were that easy to love 
a human being, how you held me 
in a gaze so cinematic I could have 
been a sea witch or selkie. 

Sonia Greenfield is the author of two full-length collections of poetry. Letdown was selected for the 2020 Marie Alexander Series and published by White Pine Press. Boy With a Halo at the Farmer’s Market, won the 2014 Codhill Poetry Prize and was published in 2015. Her chapbook, American Parable, won the 2017 Autumn House Press/Coal Hill Review chapbook prize. Her work has appeared in a variety of places, including in the 2018 and 2010 Best American Poetry, Antioch Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, and Willow Springs. She lives with her husband, son, and two rescue dogs in Minneapolis where she teaches at Normandale College and edits the Rise Up Review. More at soniagreenfield.com.