O PacIfica / by Karl Cronin

I was there
we all were
the waves, the sand, the dolphin
sometimes we stood waving our hands wildly
other times we were still
so still we became, for a moment, stone

"If you stand here you can taste the blue", I said
in the constant thickness of the great churning
in waves that sit back onto their heels, like hunger, or some great question
until the moment you think it’s all going to happen
when it dissipates into nothing

or perhaps a rouge wall of unexpected something-ness
plucks up its courage
emerges out of stillness
and changes everything

the endless inky green

once, when I was young, I had a terrible sickness that lasted for days
my mother put washcloths on my forehead to temper the heat

I left my bed and followed the sound outside my window
through the alley behind my house
past the rusty fence and the stable
the smell of eucalyptus and trash in the moonlight

I was cold, but couldn’t stop

When I arrived at the beach I saw a light
our light
shining in the darkness
and I cried wet, hot, fever tears

I asked where I could learn forgiveness
the ocean told me to teach the word kindred
to another
using only my hands