upon seeing an elephant seal in front of my house in West Seattle
You dive onto my blank page and make such a splash I have no idea where you begin and where it will all end. My poem now wet with the possibility of you—massive sea creature traveling north to the inland waters of Puget Sound. Maybe I beckoned you in my dream. Conjuring a beast. I have taken to reading my daily astrology, seeking clarity or a sign of life. This morning’s: pay attention to communications and be open to others. Your torso turned, long as a drift boat, longer. Flip of tail diving down, surfacing that flap of face. See what you’ve done, my page blackening with the storm cloud of you? You’re the weird weather we’ve been having all summer. And now I fear you coming ashore, heaving tonnage, mammal stench. Your bark breaking my perfect line.
I should have been a bitcoin trader, block-
chained myself to the firewall. I could’ve hacked
a brave new future, a data dump of startling proportions.
I should have given a TED Talk, started a unicorn.
The data science speaks in code but I am certain
of the outcomes, the dominant quadrant beckoning.
There are only so many man hours—
let’s analyze our exit strategies. Every hairy ball
of software has a backdoor in. Stop by sometime.
I’ll show you my dark data lake where I skinny dip.
I feel an emoji coming on, I must enact my privacy
features. People say they are my best.
I should’ve stayed analog long enough to be mounted
in the museum, head stuffed with binary thoughts.
I could have a linear life here—raise chickens, sew
curtains & plant cannabis. Should have married
the data farmer before he pulled up stakes & left for Mars.
Genius is in oversupply. That’s something to troubleshoot.
Heidi Seabornis author of 2020 PANK Poetry Prize winner An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe, the acclaimed debut Give a Girl Chaos and Comstock Chapbook Award winning Bite Marks. Recent work in American Poetry Journal, Beloit, Copper Nickel, Cortland Review, the Financial Times of London, Missouri Review, The Offing and The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith and the Washington Post. Heidi is Executive Editor of The Adroit Journal.