Melissa Tolentino

Call of the Wild

I get jealous of things like dolphins
and their trainers, how one can trust another
with her life so much she will eat, bounce, kiss anything
that comes out of his hands. There is only him
and the water and his reflection in her fin.

When monkeys are born they love the first thing they see,
eyes gibbous like loneliness, like the first time lovers fit their bodies together
and realize that skeletons are made of keyholes for the bones of another.
The dolphin dreams of this. How each ring around her neck
is a promise that he will take her to the ocean.

Whistleless, no ball, no hoop, no hands clapping for time,
he comes to the pool after aquarium hours, after the pod sleeps.
A boy and beyond him, the moon. The moon controlling
the tides, and how she learned to sing listening to the waves
on the beach and the cut of his voice when he says good girl.

She is a good girl. I know how she feels
when he walks away with his empty bucket.

Her notes are different from the others:
they sound like sirens. She thinks she is meant for jazz.

Melissa Tolentino currently lives in the DC metro area. Her poetry and fiction have been recognized by a number of publications and organizations, including Rust + Moth, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Emerge Literary Journal, FreezeRay PoetrySouth Florida Poetry Journal, The Adroit Prizes, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. She can be found on Twitter @sometimesabard. 

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