On Water Heavy Nights

On Water Heavy Nights

Another night dreaming of the sea,
bodies of unidentified, rough water.
The Gulf of Mexico near Clearwater
where I swam with my grandparents,
schools of unseen fish brushing against
my teen-age legs, the theme from Jaws
thumping in my brain. Or the Pacific Ocean
at Venice Beach while in my 20s, swimming
along the tide-pulled pendulum between high
and hungover. Or at Half-Moon Bay in my 30s,
celebrating New Year’s Eve on the beach,
the waves crashing over regretful words
I’d scratched into the sand, hope for renewal.
But more likely Lake Michigan, having never
lived more than a few minutes away from it.
No matter the location, the result’s the same:
Tossed about on the waves, washed up on
a pebbled beach, waking as a castaway.
Then slapping the alarm clock, out of bed
and into the shower, being in complete
control of that water, if nothing else.

Paul Scot August

(Originally published in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact – Issue V, Vol III, January 2012)

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