Sullen Swim.

If you’ve ever swam outward,
against the tides,
using only –
one arm and its hand;

You will know, then,
the difficulty lies,
in between –
a horizon and the sand;

If you’ve embraced the ocean,
in the blackness of night,
amid curious faces –
worn by beast, and no man;

If you’ve long made point,
to swim beyond,
the buoys –
farthest from the land;

If the water doesn’t sting,
your eyes or burn skin,
carry on then,
carry out the plan;

If you have ever taken,
that final, Sullen Swim,
to let spread –
the ashes of beloved wise-man;

If you’ve ever hated,
what you usually love,
an affect of –
the end of a father’s lifespan;

If you’ve been tangled in kelp-beds,
way out with the otters,
cracking clams–
with their human-like hands;

If you’ve been out too long,
dazed by a breaker’s blow,
the tugging at your hand;

If you’ve been spun,
like a washing machine,
hard tumbled –
inside a tornado of sand;

If you’ve had that moment,
when reality,
starts dawning –
quite differently than planned;

If so, you must know as well as me,
of a poisonous affinity,
the salinity –
four quarters of who I am.


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