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  4. In the Cannery the Porpoise Soul by Juan Felipe Herrera
In the Cannery the Porpoise Soul

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In the cannery the porpoise soul
& the shadow fins of spirit boats lie awake
the hundred hooks & flying reels
one harpoon
& the silver fleshing in the nets

the mayor is waiting/counting scales
dreaming new quotas & tuna coasts
(under the table blood & payrolls
swim to the shores on a crucifix of oil)

in the cannery the porpoise soul
steals a dagger for the engines throat
tuna fins etch an X
on the green stone of the ships floor

there are documents with worker sweat
files & rolled sleeve salt
a spear of sails & anchor years
(lost)
inside the shoulders & against the ropes
(somehow)
a policy gunned the waves back
before the porpoise sea was born

“In the Cannery the Porpoise Soul” from Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems by Juan Felipe Herrera. Copyright © 2008 Juan Felipe Herrera. Reprinted by permission of the University of Arizona Press. This material is protected from unauthorized downloading and distribution.
Source: Half of the World in Light (The University of Arizona Press, 2008)
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In the Cannery the Porpoise Soul

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