Everything goes up

Chelsea Hodson

When a whale floats toward the sky, you should
not be alarmed. It is natural, like the way a baby is
born even if you don’t see it happen, flapping its
arms in the air, wailing for a blanket. The whale is
the same, just looking for warmth—it finds it in the
universe, always expanding, a lung with too
much pressure. Whales are very aware of their
existence and that is why they are careful to only have
one baby a year. Any more is selfish, and harder
to carry once the migration begins. When National
Geographic says north they are only half
lying. The star is an ambitious trip, an other
worldly goal, but they torpedo up, gymnasts
spiraling out of their element, into another, and
you can swear they’re smiling: they know
the meaning of everything and are tired of you
not getting it. The angst that whales feel is inside a teenager
swimming their way through a high school hallway,
feeding their young with a cigarette, their lungs
filling with so much pressure. The smoke floats up to a place
where things die, even if you don’t see it happen.