ocean

when the urgency blows in,
comes over me, threatens to overcome
what landlubberly steadiness I’ve build up
with alphabet block by block, primary colored
illustrations of trains and toy sailboats aboard,
I seek to duck it, to dull it, to
drive it from the beat of blood in my ears
with great gulps of seawater– make it some way less
poignant by melting the edge with salt–
anything I can swallow might solve it,
cool me or at least lower the melting
point that hovers at my throat– that thrill
for more than I ever believe I can have–
what stalls me, oh choke of distrust–
and while I’m riding so wave-high, the fear
mounts as well, borne on swells of hope–
vertigo urging ever higher while I cast
for sandbags to shore myself,
my coastlines too loose
to hold, too available to erosion–
but always the what-if hovers
like some blazing promise just above the horizon,
big enough to grab, and I reach and fall
over and again into the curl of what is wet
and bears me up once more in its own tidal time.

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