I watched the sun sink in the horizon;
It was time for it to visit other places.
The gulls that squawked all day finally took wing
And roosted on the land that I would dock on shortly.
The lapping waves started to die.
Sweat stopped dripping from my tank top.
I decided to nap before I embarked on my homeward sail,
But before I put my hat over my face,
The fins began to appear.
Sun made its way
to her back,
Casting a morphing shadow
on the powdery sand.
Bubbles slipped out of her lungs,
dancing to the swirling surface.
She rose up
toward the beckoning sun.
Her blowhole inhaled
the salty air,
Refilling her lungs
like a balloon.
She noticed a ship
in the distance.
Binoculars and cameras faced her,
She floated in glory,
admired by the many people.
She was beautiful.
The boat rocked with every rolling current
As I slowly fed my net into the swirling aqua sea.
I watched as the floats drifted off,
Knowing the next time I would touch them,
I would be hauling hundreds of shrimp onto this deck.
I leaned against the cabin window,
I thought of my beautiful family:
My wife and son.
This was for them.
A large mob of gulls swarmed around the boat:
There must have been something in the water.
Spitting tobacco overboard, I began to pull in the net.
Inch by inch,
Foot by foot.
It was too late.
She was already gone.
A dead Vaquita lay mangled in the mesh,
Lifeless and dripping in blood from the lacerations.
I sat down on the deck and began to cry.
Lungs feeling tight,
She rises to the surface,
Inhaling the crisp, ripe sea air.
A huge ship breaks the horizon.
Many huge binoculars are aimed at her,
Many lights flash, discovering her majesty.
Exposed, she slips away forever.