The World’s Loneliest Whale Sings the Loudest Song
& Other Confessions
I won’t make metaphors out of fish. If I have to die, I choose the ocean. If I have to live, I choose you. You: Everyone I’ve ever mourned. I believe less & less of sunlight these days. I won’t die alone. To awaken crying is to awaken displaced. Ghost of your joy in the bathtub. A face in the mirror. Your nephew’s painting in the foyer. My mother cried in bedrooms growing up. I would study her for hours. In a study, researchers learned patients who cried less are likely to have dismissive attachment styles. Today, every bedroom in the house is mine. I stopped crying at age 12. As a child, I spoke a language no one understood. Research suggests loneliness increases cardiovascular disease. When my cousin died, she died alone. When the world collapsed around Darwish, he wrote of coffee and sex. When you held my body close to yours, I thought of clementines, sweet citrus, all the world’s lemons we’d temper with honey. The world’s loneliest whale sings the loudest song. This is what you’ll tell me the first time we meet. And I’ll think about the ocean. And I’ll think about you. I never learned how to swim. I’ve been drowning my whole life. Studies suggest drowning lasts 1-3 minutes. But I’ll never stop grieving. Scientists are still searching for the 52-hertz whale. But I swear he’s here. In my bedroom. And I can hear him. And he’s telling me I can stop.
Added: Tuesday, March 28, 2023 / Used with permission.
Noor Hindi (she/her/hers) is a Palestinian-American poet and reporter. Her debut collection of poems, Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow was published by Haymarket Books. She is currently editing a Palestinian global anglophone anthology with George Abraham (Haymarket Books, 2024). She is a 2021 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow. Follow her on Twitter @MyNrhindi.
Image Description: Noor Hindi appears in black and white with curly hair and wearing a sweater. She looks directly at the camera. Two orblike flashes of light appear in the upper left corner of the background.