52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

1.Surfing Catalina,

with scrub on the hills behind me, 
hammerheads, rumored, around me, 
San Nicolas a day's kayak away, 
if the book's to be believed. I dodged no buffalo 
as I drove to the line-up in my friend's new car. 

He waited nine years to get it. He lives alone.
Almost all the land on the island is a preserve.
The state fish is the garibaldi, on the island's
leeward-side a friend to tourists carrying bread.
They pass through liquid toward a goal,

as I do when I paddle, as a baby does 
pre-first-swaddle, like a pathogen in the water
in the glass from the tap. A surfacing whale.
Its wet eye's gaze when up close by a castaway
is taken for kinship. Oh that it might be.

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