When I Lived Among the Narwhals

L. Michelle Souleret


One day I’ll tell you about when I lived among the narwhals.
It is a touchstone in my life,
time of contemplation and peace.
But now is a time of burning and shouting,
and the quiet caves of the cold North Sea
have faded to a dream.

Take my hand, child,
we must venture forth for the day.
Pull up your mask, we cannot be known.
Cover your hands, or they will be examined and found wrong.
Shuffle behind me and look down at your feet.
Always keep your gaze down,
for the things you might see are not fit to be seen –
yet these are the sights of our times.
Bodies stripped of value, charred and scattered.
Men with wolf eyes and snarling women.
How sorrowful I am that you know only
this raw anger,
this shuddering earth.
That the only taste you know are the scraps we unearth in the desert night.
Once I feasted on the musky fat of seals.
Once I lifted cherries to my tongue, and grapes and wine and honey.
Oh — the ripe and creamy cheeses of my youth!
My child, I do not tell you this to make you sad;
but simply to stir up the rage
that is the only fuel to survive on
in this harsh land.



By day, L. Michelle Souleret works as a marketing content writer in the tech industry, but at night she is an aspiring fiction writer and poet.