Deep, deep the dolphins dive
through emerald skies to sapphire caves
where wise ones wait and quell their fears.
Beyond the waves—O God of dolphins rise!—
the slowest pups instruct their peers,
the catchers and the caught
They struggle to communicate, to keep alive
some structured whole,
to parse the alien brain
and conjugate the soul,
Till land and sea are one—
the teachers and the taught—
and home for everyone must seem
his blessing and his curse.
The wise ones wait, and waiting,
dream of this first meeting's awful end:
For all, a doubled universe,
for each, perhaps a friend.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Language Lesson".