Narwhal Vs. Unicorn

Spider with a city background at night

by Bradley David


Narwhal Vs. Unicorn

Rishi Agrawal


I have a fear of being impaled, halberds
and sticks thrust against my chest.
There’s a dirty joke in there somewhere.

Consider the narwhal. Its ten-foot tusk
an elongated tooth: its tensile strength
surely enough to pierce my heart

or otherwise. It could even best
the unicorn, notwithstanding the gallop
and mighty horn.  In the Arctic Sea,

the unicorn would flounder and drown.
It cannot swim and favors temperate
zones and is also, you know, not real.

But maybe my unicorn has gills
or scuba gear. If it’s mythical,
I make the rules. Like fingernail-sized

dragons or chocolate chupacabra.
Is it wrong to want the magic hat
to have a wormhole that leads

to lands of rabbits? Where the rabbits
cavort and sing of idyllic reverie
and also, I don’t know, eat carrots?

Is it wrong to see the sideshow
at the carnival, to see the baby unicorn
when I really know it’s just

a one-horned goat?




Rishi Agrawal teaches English and Creative Writing at Woodbridge Senior High School in Virginia. He has an MFA from Indiana University and has had poems appear in Mudfish and Barrow Street.


Bradley David‘s poetry, fiction, essays, and images appear in Terrain, Allium, Rougarou, Exacting Clam, Fatal Flaw, Anti-Heroin Chic, Zoetic Press, and numerous others. He lives in Southern California by way of the rural Great Lakes Midwest. His work can be found at and on Instagram @mystrangecamera.