The Change

James Dickey

From The Kenyon Review, Winter 1961, Vol. XXIII, No. 1

Blue, unstirrable, dreaming,
The hammerhead goes by the boat,
Passing me slowly in looking.

He has singled me out from the others;
He has put his blue gaze in my brain.
The strength of creation sees through me:

The world is yet blind as beginning.
The shark’s brutal form never changes.
No millions of years shall yet turn him

From himself to a man in love,
Yet I feel that impossible man
Hover near, emerging from darkness,

Like a creature of light from the ocean.
He is what I would make of myself
In ten million years, if I could,

And arise from my brute of a body
To a thing the world never thought of
In a place as apparent as Heaven.

I name the blue shark through the water,
And the heart of my brain has spoken
To me, like an unknown brother,

Gently of ends and beginnings,
Gently of sources and outcomes,
Impossible, brighter than sunlight.

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