Number 32


I look down,

And she looks up.

My brown eye,

to her black one.


I walk on above,

she swims in the pool.

Separated by only,

Fifteen feet and a tilted pane of glass.


She turns her head

Spins all the way around.

And I see what

I had missed before.


Her right eye

is a thick milky pink.

Hurt by infection,

a disturbing image.


We stayed that way,

staring for a moment.

I felt what she felt,

the fear and the pain.


I have never felt

such a moment of clarity.

Knowing exactly

what I must do.


She was a seal,

and her tag read “32.”

I couldn’t stop thinking

about her and her eye.


“Marine Biologist”

Has more than just a nice ring to it.

For every number 32 who is saved,

Many more are not.


I want every 32 to live,

To swim free in the ocean.

Not afraid of rudders or fishing nets

or invisible chemical run off.


Marine Biologist.

That sounds nice.

But it will mean so much more

when I save another 32.


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