And the whale carried him to far off places where he’d never been and looked out from behind those whale eyes and saw countries on countries from a shoreline rigid and unchanging. And he gulped in water with the whale’s gaping maw and played with krill back and forth and in and out and over the tongue like a board moving only so
And the whale sang to him at night. The whale sang to him lullabies that only the ocean knows and the waves chi
And in the middle of a wave breaking across the whale’s side he sat rubbing his feet with salt water and seaweed and laughing at the way it was him tickling himself with salt water and seaweed on his feet. And the whale was laughing too because it liked the way the boy was inside of him and laughing at rubbing his feet with salt water and seaweed. And then the girl was there.
She leapt or crawled or exhausted herself to the insides of his own inside whale and lay there weak and unpinned on the giant tongue of the whale rocking on the splitting sides of waves. And the boy spoke to her as if foreign and smiled and crouched and breathed life into her but none would co
And the whale kept swimming. Through his ocean. Unnerved and waiting. Swimming.
She was there for days and through tides and past the first storm and through seconds and thirds and was laying there now still looking at the cathedral ceiling of the whale’s mouth and the wrinkled forehead of the boy’s quizzical looks and the misting salt water snaking in and out like a tide in the air.
And the whale kept swimming and the boy would everyday breath life into her and see it wander back out and find holes in the whale’s exterior and smoke out into the sky of an ocean rolling and weeping. But he still would every day breath that life that left in smoking curls out of the whale and the whale kept swimming in the points and focus of a beast gentle and giant and hungry and smooth.
She awoke one day too but not when the boy was breathing life into her. The boy lived inside that whale and made a bed out of its giant tongue and drank the sea water that it poured over his boy’s head but the breath that he breathed into her wasn’t right. She awoke instead when it was ti
And she was beautiful when she sat up on the tongue of the giant whale and stretched ten thousand yawns from her tiny mouth and crunched her fists in and out in pulsing gorgeous beats and spoke to him as he had always wanted her to. She said hello. And he said hello back. And the rest was all in stumbling eyes and the fingerprints of fingertips and the quiet calm breathing of panicked and longing throaty whispers. No one could hear them but the whale. And the whale smiled and laughed and rolled on the waves onward swimming and loving this boy and this girl who made a bed out of his giant tongue and a roof out of his cathedral ceiling and tight skinned mouth.
And whale kept swimming and smiling and rolling and smoothly bringing water in out in out. And the girl kept whispering to the boy and the boy kept whispering back. And it went on on on like that forever. In and out of a whale’s mouth on the ocean with sea water bleating like sheep in grass. And the boy was inside it. With the girl now. Inside it. Sleeping and holding and cradling and moving restlessly and good and with happy forever lust. And the whale kept swimming. Because he
Are you swimming in her pools by Swan Lake.
Among other publications, J. A. Tyler has work most recently with The Feathertale Review, Thieves Jargon, Underground Voices, & Word Riot. He is also founding editor of Mud Luscious. To learn more visit his website.
Photo by Adam Lawrence.
Sticker by PaperMonster.
Supergroup Swan Lake released their only album to date, Beast Moans, back in 2006. This trio consisting of Daniel Bejar, Spencer Krug, Carey Mercer like to swim in pools, but have never been inside the belly of a whale.