When I fell out of favour with the sea
I was a dead fish, a bad odour,
banging against the shoreline,
rot wheeling in the wake of boats.

No longer fluid, I become effluent,
torn from the stream within the deep,
the great rolling against the mass of this world,
the grinding down of implacability,
the smack in the face of indifference.

I had to find my own way, stand up,
step out, live high and dry, not alone,
just apart. Constantly searching, I cast
my net in where once I would see
forgotten treasures, hope I will find one.

I no longer gasp, move my mouth
silently, constantly, shamelessly.
I do not gill or dive, scale or strike
in public or in private. I know
what is private is the secret sea
of each other, so I embrace the other,

even though in the end I only embrace
some other. I live in the home I built
at the top of a hill. I do not invite my
neighbours over for tea. The sight of tea
bags floating in a teapot inexplicably
moves me to tears that drench the
sandwiches and cookies I have made
and suddenly everything tastes like the sea.