Gasp

(a surfing poem about drowning/not-drowning)

spinning helplessly
down below
i tuck and spin faster

is this how she dies?
dashed on a rock?
her head clobbered by
the rocketing board?
a hit just right would
knock her unconscious
she would forget to
hold her last air
suck in lungs of sea and
go limp

time stops
between heartbeats

awake in this roaring
blind night, i check:
my neck is
not broken
both arms, unharmed curl
overhead
perfect legs pulled in
protect my belly
somehow
how far down
i am not yet drowned

she is a little ball of
curled girl
in a seething sea
spinning lost somewhere
waiting for what happens

she is the planted seed
which contains the
rest of her life

far above me
the board surfaces,
finds light and sky
a solid yank to my leash leg
tells me which way is
up
to a world full of air

i open and
kick through the foam
finding the top
as the gasp
explodes

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