The Deal with the Sea

July 18, 2017

You try to detox

   with sleep

sweat   hot tea

   by coughing up

sin blowing

     brain waste

from your nostrils


but still


the powerlessness

of flesh saying

fill me! I tingle

inside, feed me



so you go through old notes

promises you made

just 24 hours ago

when the blow

was dripping quick

from your legs like life

onto the sand and

 the rain surprised you


that morning

as if it was a cleansing

and this change would be

easy but no

still the writhing


soft red wine

whiskey on ice

a strong beer on the quiet deck

howling until that click comes

 on with the night time


Today you hoped

for the breath of a lion

grunting fire in your throat

sweating from your

eyes but you are not enough

power to take me

not enough to fill back these

pages or bottles or souls

or stop these two monsters



But do not forget that morning at the ocean

  when you arrived with night on your back

    and drugs falling out of your pockets


And the deal you bartered with the water:


You told it, after some time, about the frailty of

human will, by which you meant your own,

the universe of the mind

which holds us all captive,

and the burning and smoldering

of the spirit

whose death (depth?), you fear,

you may never come to know


And in return, it told you of

the power of breath, the medicine

of a roar, and the needlessness of ends,

how all things last and flitter and glass,

the strength of weakness


This last point you wanted more clarity on. How?


You will know, the ocean said, as the sky broke rain

in May on a beach in San Diego

where you had run with scraps of paper and

and a hotel pen in your pocket,

trying to write down these


before the morning showers turned

the sheet to sand,

you laughing through shivers, bewildered,

water coming out of your eyes,

never more in love with life.





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