Leaving One’s Back to the Sea

She of course was dying
to tell anyone the danger

of leaving one’s back
to the sea, an element

she said with knifing lips,
too dangerous, too vast

for trust. The proof, she said
was etched beneath its mystery

if one could see every
comma traced in the surf

by dancing lovers’ feet,
every vanished child’s sand-castle,

or bones washed up as flotsam,
the rest retained by the deeps,

or boats of the desperate awash in spray,
the waterspouts, eddies and sudden rips.

A man consistent ashore
might wade against the tide,

disappear and reappear
wholly transformed, unrecognizable.

She of course was living
herself on the beaches,

knew the facts, every one
proven to her cost.


Written in response to the Daily Post: Elemental


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