Such a surprise
to fall overboard
into the briny sea
the shock of the cold
a mouth full of salt
the waves carelessly tossing you
batting you back and forth
like a ball stolen from a smaller kid
“What’s wrong? You want your ball back?
Here it is…just catch it!”
The ball is thrown agonizingly high overhead,
straight into the hands of a second bully.
And so it goes,
over and over again,
til you go home crying,
and your dad says
you need to stand up for yourself.
There is no alone more alone
than bobbing in the middle of the sea,
a hundred miles or more from land,
no ships on the horizon,
no desert isles with sandy beaches
palm trees laden with green coconuts,
just the sea and you,
and yes, I know there are millions
of living creatures
swimming beside you, below you,
tickling your feet,
maybe trying to take a bite.
Still, there is no alone more alone.
And the sun beats down,
burning your scalp bright red,
and you have a headache,
and you’re burning with thirst,
surrounded by endless water
that you can’t drink,
and you think,
This just really sucks.
You wonder if anyone noticed
that you were gone.
Has that cruise ship
continued to cut effortlessly
through the sea
to the next port of call?
Are people still sipping mojitos by the pool,
taking yoga classes on the deck at dawn,
feeling indecisive in front of a large buffet,
bravely walking up to the mic
on karaoke night
after three stiff drinks?
You’re going to be shark food soon,
and that’s just the way of things here.
Some fish eat,
and some fish get eaten,
and why did you think you were so special?