Killer Whale by  Rudhthoronwen; for more information, visit

Killer Whale by Rudhthoronwen; for more information, visit

The Killer Whales Sing

by Ryan Dzelzkalns

and as if that fantastic animal we accommodate had itself such finely tuned ears, such searching eyes, so gifted a tongue and mind, as to know much and be quite willing to tell it…

~Michel Foucault

we are ocean and sky made small

we speak, that is, rule

we come from below in families and institutions

when we open our mouth, the world comes out

make no mistake here

we are obeyed, and yet, no one was there to invent us

somehow we suspect the dark, suffer our body with hunger

we know only the skin holds in your blood

we surround you, are exercised from innumerable points of light

we think of you like you do: singular, yearning

we are wolfwhistle; we are thrall

where there is power, there is resistance, and yet, there we are

(we, a confessional science)

we operate endlessly taboo and censorship

taste the world in every piece of flesh

the light shines for us and shines through us

the dark comes for us and comes through us

do not appear, if you want to disappear


photo by Drew Albinson

photo by Drew Albinson

About Ryan Dzelzkalns

Ryan Dzelzkalns is a Midwestern boy at heart. He has work appearing or forthcoming with Assaracus, Columbia Journal Online, the HIV Here and Now Project, Midwestern Gothic, Narrative, Revolver and others. He completed a BA at Macalester College where he received the Wendy Parrish Poetry Award and an MFA at NYU. This year he began working for the Academy of American Poets and one of his poems was nominated for the Independent Best American Poetry series. He is the tallest man in New York.

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