stand at the edge
of the world
and look down

you’ll see the space whales
glinting with oracular patterns
of gemstones
dotting their backs

whatever you do
don’t speak of gravity
or the whales will get in a huff
and a puff
and they’ll blow you away
with a mighty toot
to Timbuktu

whistle
and they’ll let you ride them

if you can’t whistle
mention your great aunt
and her collection
of porcelain moon babies

you’ll get a ride
and a lollipop
but don’t stay at the edge
too long

your hair will get confused
and will grow from your eyes

after that you’ll forget
that you’re not a crow
with three heads

your two missing heads
will disturb you

don’t ask the stars to play
because they will

every game of hide and seek
would cause many googolplexes
of deaths

remember to eat
at least one gemstone

the whales will act abashed
but they expect it

clouds will form below you
and rain up

with every drop
that touches you
expect a tiny explosion
of colorful sparks

expect to be lied to
by the thunderous voices below

don’t expect
to learn a thing
or you won’t

when all the colors
swirl together
a foot and a half
from your chest
wait for the egg to form
and then cradle it
in your shaking cold hands
for two or three moments

two moments
for those who’ve eaten
buffalo meat

three moments
for those who haven’t

during those moments
you’ll feel completely safe
finally
and things will be different

you might build
a tire swing
or stick post-it notes
with drawings of mastodons
all over your body

you might even tickle
your own nose
with a purple feather

after your time is up
let the egg go

you made it
but it’s not yours