Two Poems by Meredith DeLong

Meredith DeLong

street cat napping on a porch

later a woman will open the door to find an absence of wind & an absence of cat; she will not wonder about a cat that is not hers napping on the porch because the cat will by then be traveling elsewhere, running, unstilling the air with its lean body & also sleeping, always sleeping, always on the porch & in the same moment murmuring to itself because everything & everyone murmurs to itself in the same breath. when the cat, the street cat, was older, much older, the street cat with eyes of lamppost glow & pelt of shorn grass ate chunks of moon every night to sustain itself through famish. the street cat wonders why it is a street cat & not a frog cat or a clock cat or a chalkboard cat, & does not question, ever, the name of cat, because when that question is asked the street cat becomes an empty chair on a porch at dusk where a sleepless woman drinks tea & sneezes & murmurs to herself until the sun murmurs the rest of the people in the world                                                                awake.

Blackout: A Close Reading of the Wikipedia Page Whale Fall

a whale fall occurs when the carcass of a whale has fallen onto the ocean floor
these carcasses can create complex localized ecosystems that 
supply sustenance to deep-sea organisms for decades
hotspots for new species
in stages researchers disperse from one another
warmer waters hasten decomposition
carcasses may float
bodies sink to even greater depths

the first recorded abyssal whale fall was discovered 19 February 1977
the skeleton of the carcass was completely devoid of teeth
the first whale-fall ecosystem was discovered by animals
deep-sea explorers minutely examine the ocean floor 

whale falls are distributed throughout space and time along migration routes
ecosystem engineers erode the matrix of bones
recent studies show a possible trend in scavengers during the night
shipwrecks have also provided bases for deepwater communities

there are four stages of decomposition associated with whale fall

                  stage 1

                  begins with sleeper sharks consuming the carcass
                  months up to 1.5 years

                  stage 2

                  “enrichment opportunists” colonize the bones
                  months up to 4.5 years

                  stage 3

                  bacteria embedded in the bones
                  the toxicity of bacteria provide nourishment
                  between 50 and possibly 100 years

                  stage 4

                  only minerals remain in the bones

whale falls only occur in reduction
bones sustain deep-sea communities

whales evolved to dive deeper
to survive while waiting
possibility is a dead-end path

each whale is equivalent to thousands of trees

this conclusion can be drawn based on the knowledge in bone marrow
							                                                    in great distances.