The Extinction Museum: Exhibit #100 (embalmed whale rigged to the side of the ship where it floats)

Tina May Hall


Inside the great beast, we clasped hands, shared the last cigarette, its glow like our love traveling back and forth, our breath made visible. We were bad luck, two wrongs, a scourge. When we fucked, locusts descended. When we went on a date, a plague of frogs appeared. Everything we touched sank until we ourselves were cast overboard. We begged to be sacrificed, but the world still burned. The beast’s thunderous heart was louder than the storms outside. Jonah was off in the entrails somewhere, collecting lamp oil. Geppetto and Pinocchio took turns building a raft out of splinters of their flesh. I saw Adrienne Rich wearing an oxygen tank. You claimed D.H. Lawrence had set up a seismograph in the nether regions. When we kissed, the giant body rolled and water poured in. It was then we learned how to swim.