My name meant sickle, dog’s claw. I tickled the fishies with my toggle paw. I was a stickling sticker with an iron jaw: I wiggled under their blubber, their muscle, and took the first bite; I gnawed as I nestled into their flesh; I didn’t spit out the gristle. I was the tackle that needs no bait on me. My mickle tooth sufficed. While the sea- beasts reared and rolled, I rankled like a flea. A whale’s no tricky catch, once moored. But without a quick arm, a strong cord, any spear is broken, sunk, or overboard. That’s when my adventure started, fast in the fish: my last run, my last kill: then began the course of rust that only fishhooks and ship wrack fathom, a life unrecked to me on deck, a life of salt, wasting in the whale’s taut back. But it is beautiful here, though I erode; I hear the chanteys of the whale-road; the whale suckles me with his blood. I skim the waves like an extra fin. I’m an iron fish, a serf of Triton, a barbed harp learning a deeper tune: that of slow dying. When we emerge for air, I like to glimpse the gulls. But of that far world I once knew—when I was a shiny spur, a wand with a star—I want no lubber’s tale. They can keep the force of gunwales and the sail: true power lies in death, and in the whale.