Mary Jane Nealon
THE SHIP UNDER THE FOOT
OF THE ELEPHANT
This thick-skinned toe scraping.
This cool cool water splashing upside down.
Breath, once so unconsciously available,
hides now in the shadow of the foot.
This moment of slow sinking into the waves,
this steady forcing down into green:
some panic, some music from the band
and the long soft hand of the nurse
who adjusts the morphine drip, just enough,
just to ease the weight of the elephant
and expand the idea
of where the ship might go.