The loneliest creature on Earth
declares a tittle-tattler, is a whale.
Again and again she calls for a mate
but her high-pitched voice is so
no one ever responds.
Only a man could be this tattler:
the whale calls herself
Echo. As her ghostliness
glides with waves to Enchantment
frizzing aquasol and feathering
winds, she punctures a mood
pictures silence, limns death
crackling breath attuned to crystal
sounds of things unseen: sweet air
borne trills dying
in morning glory. She composes
a requiem of such beauty it terrifies
men, her loneliness no other
than metaphor insisting.
Dominique Hecq grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium. She now lives in Melbourne. Her works include a novel, three collections of short stories and eight books of poetry. After Cage (Girls on Key 2019) is her most recent collection. She is a recipient of the 2018 International Best Poets Prize, IPTRC.