We crucified the whale

We made the shape in bowsprits 
Dovetailed, bolted tight
Scrimmed and windlassed in the ink
Of all our oceanly delights
Fifty-six ells long, and the upright 
Measured twice, a golden mean
Embedded in the earth
To a sepulchre’s joist
This world and the next
In right-angled tandem
Justice uttered on our lips
Harpooned the beast
With that pneumatic fleeing snake
Watched it vomit up
Ambergris like sacrament
I think perhaps, the drowned preserved within
Found at last release
Drew it up in hawsers
Netted in those snarling knots
That shrink until the rope begins to cut
Block and tackle an ugly face
Double tongued, the bronze
Gone to the verdigris
Of brute seas
In the ichor deep
I am not sure
If the heart
Or time slows
As the weight
Of slumping water 
Only that
The swelling aortic arch
Is a bell
Where the silence
Of the god echoes
Under the excruciating beat
Of a slow approaching hammer
Pierced the pale side
For a crown, a strangler’s kelp
The gulls in swooped laments 
We will eat this lord alive
Rendered fat in slick fat slabs
from jigsawed hide
That stinking lard
To light the blue-green evening
With a flame’s slight harem dance
Caught in the Salome writhe
Of Antipas’s demand
To keep the god at bay
Watched the monster
Burning bright
For three days and three nights
All came to see, and revel
In his Vitas revelries 
After, almost completely gone
Charred vines of rope
Hung from the spars
Still half asleep
The waves in serry knelt
A king tide about the crucifix
The rigs of carnival drowned or gone
I ash blind
Augured, anvilled, awled 
On the creature’s back
A sun-gilt morning road
To another sea