Sunday, January 24, 2016

Shore



It will continue, he said,
even when the water breaks white,
even when the surface currents seem
to be going the wrong way.

The river, I tell him, is gray, and the ocean is for others.

I have crossed the river on stones and planks,
while others swam, inviting me in
and I dove just to please them, pretending
I could swim too.

My path is broken; the white caps are hard
there are too many gaps, always
I must find the connector: I use wire and wood
and rusty nails, these broken rafts, 
whatever it takes to cross.

I don’t know tides or currents,
have never understood how the river flowed;
perhaps it does not.

There is only the leap, and my heart in my mouth:
I can’t walk this hard water or swim,
and I will never see land.

I will be your dolphin, he says,
and you will not drown.

How can I explain that
I am not afraid of drowning:
I have drowned many times, come up,
gasping for air, and dead, many times:
 
What it is is that
I can’t swim
and the water is hard.

It will continue, he says
even when the water
seems to be going the wrong way.

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