portion of the artwork for Robert Aquinas McNally's poetry

The Lads
Robert Aquinas McNally

Full of fine spirits, they invariably come from the breezy billows to windward. They are the lads that always live before the wind.
—Herman Melville, Moby Dick


Dolphins leap out of moonless darkness from swell to downwind swell, their bodies shrouded in neon. Microbes make this cool light, flash like tiny fireflies, paint what passes in a glow translucent and green. The illuminated swimmers assemble in a V on the boat’s bow wave, array themselves like southing geese. There is no effort to their progress, ten knots without labor or sweat, speed with ease. Contrails of light stream trim and true behind, mark this smooth passage.

Someone once announced that this behavior comes down to feeding, to falling more swiftly upon the baitfish dolphins prey on, to the advantage of mobile ambush, to the reality of eater and eaten.

Forget all that as you lean out over the sea and look through the sheath of food. Behold the perfect light of beings being what they most are.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 43 | Spring 2014