Pinocchio’s warm hand, the white nails curved
to match the crescent moon that he has always believed
was the moon of his seed’s bursting, rests
upon his creator’s cool brow, a sailor
standing at the prow, searching for the sight of land.
Pinocchio wonders if the carver of his form,
taking him from tree trunk to adolescent boy,
ever foresaw the consequences in his creation.
Pinocchio wants to ask the face that is falling into depths
even whales cannot go, wants the answer
before the chest stills, a lake suddenly emptied,
if Geppetto ever thought his son would be different
in ways even a maker cannot foresee until
hindsight carries them beyond the original intention.
Pinocchio leans close to Geppetto’s left ear,
stares at the tuffs of white hair that protrude
from the conch shell of flesh, as if a deep sea plant
had found anchorage, and whispers, ‘I want to tell you, papa,
I took the apple alone, went to the island alone, did not mean
to end up with you in the whale’s stomach. Papa,
I want to tell you that unrelenting life unnerves me.’