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The Ocean Is A Carnivore

by Frankie Sanchez

I once shared a maritime border with a boy so addicted to water
he couldn’t stop waving.
He had a buoyancy about him.
He had a hard time being anchored to anything that weighed him down.
He was high tide and flood warning and he couldn’t stand wading.

It was the fin on his back that gave him away -
told me a whole lot about who he was and who he consumed
and I still can't get the salt white stale taste of his bite
off the back of my tongue.

Some people use ego as a flotation device
so that when the water levels rise they stay afloat.
Meanwhile the rest of us take deep breaths and submerge ourselves
as we wax hysteric 'bout how we're down here lookin' for gold,
searching for the lost city of AT LAST, US!
How we're down here lookin' for the ship we sank with confidence.

At last, US, pretending
we're down here discovering
when the truth is as clear as my lack of gills,
we'll be up for air soon - egos
just waitin' on the high tide
to carry us all back to believing in our selves.

Believing in our bloodmoving heartbeat lungfiller,
believing in things we can't even see, literally,
believing that when Midnight calls us into her arms
it is best to close eyes, anchor fears and give in,
because we sleep when the sky tells us too,
says her moon attracts the ocean,
says when they get going, things get tidal.

Like that one time I consumed too much high-fructose corn syrup before bed
and had a nightmare that I could fly,
spread arms and took to the sky - lost control
scraped bare belly on pavement,
woke up tired and in pain.
Unable to go back to sleep I held conversation with Moon
about how I once shared a maritime border with an ocean so afraid of evaporating
she had to swell and crest and break just to make her presence known.

Moon and I, we remember a time when the ocean was just ocean
and the sky, just sky,
when people were just people.
We remember a time before we learned about depth and layers and ... people,
how they themselves can be as deep and dark and as unexplored as oceans.

How to put this delicately, your ego, though just as delicate,
is much larger than a butterfly wing, you know what I'm sayin'
and I'm not trying to be mean, I mean, I'm not trying.
I'm reachin’ out to you in hopes that we can share your flotation device,
because the ocean, is carnivorous
and the sky, is ambivalent
and I'm, just tired

of holding my breath
waitingforthesurface waitingforthesurface waitingforthe...

Here I am.
Doggy paddle breast stroke and butterfly,
kickin’ my feet to stay alive.

Too often I get sucker-punched-drunk by a moment,
I get so dizzy from falling off myself that I forget
that people like you are my parachutes.
I forget from scraping my chest so often,
I forget that your ego is just your confident way of saying,
“Hey stupid,
I've got you by your shoulders.
I'm right here when you need me.
I'll be open and we'll fall
together
slowly.”

And there you are again, Ocean
with the support of the sky.

08/19/2010

Author's Note: I have been re-working this poem. Trying to get it right.

Posted on 08/19/2010
Copyright © 2016 Frankie Sanchez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Linda Fuller on 08/19/10 at 02:16 PM

Your first sentence - s'wonderful. The entire poem - s'marvelous. Into my favorites for many re-readings.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 08/19/10 at 03:43 PM

...something about the title allured me; tis true she is all you say she is annnnd that Moon, ya gotta tend to her too, like you do. a heavy pome, m'man. heavy good.

Posted by V. Blake on 08/19/10 at 06:09 PM

You didn't hear it from me, but you're one of the best poets on this site. Seriously. Everything about this is goddamn brilliant.

Posted by George Hoerner on 08/19/10 at 07:56 PM

I have a feeling you can stop re-writing. It sounds quite good from here. Well done!

Posted by Olivia Weinkein on 08/19/10 at 09:59 PM

This is just really cool, a very smooth write. I don't know what else to say, I just really love it :)

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 08/21/10 at 09:24 AM

Looks pretty damn good to me.

Posted by Steven Kenworthy on 08/22/10 at 10:49 PM

love the parachutes bit...the sky/ocean pieces, ambivalence and everything in between. this is loaded with emotion, back & forthness. i can't put all the puzzle pieces together on the first read, but it has some incredible lines. will read again...feel for a driving climax. kudos brother...ur stuff is always rockin.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 08/23/10 at 07:11 PM

Absolutely divine. Loved every nuance. Thank you. My Pick! Fav+

Posted by Ava Blu on 08/24/10 at 02:50 PM

Your "trying to get it right" is pretty flawless.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 08/25/10 at 12:48 PM

As one who’s fond of the ocean, and written a fair bit about it himself, especially in metaphor, I really enjoyed this epic frolic in the poetic salt waters of earth, sea and sky. A lot to re-work too, and though I wasn’t sure of the meaning a one or two lines, it reads pretty good to me. Glad I checked out your work Frankie. Good to see it No. 1 also.

Posted by Lauren Singer on 08/25/10 at 03:50 PM

"At last, us"...yes. your voice is all its own. that my friend, is enviable. lovely.

Posted by Andrea Colton on 08/27/10 at 05:45 AM

I've never read a poem and thought "why didn't I think of that???"...until I read this. Seriously amazing man. I am in awe right now.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 11/29/10 at 01:29 PM

Frankie, on a tip from Morgan Hafele I went to your myspace page and listened to you read this great poem. I really enjoyed it. The cadence of your voice, its urgency and intensity reminded me of the ocean. So much good stuff in it, but one things I liked was your acceptance of others' egos. So often we think of ego in a negative light, but you put a different spin on it. This is the first of your poems I have read/heard, but it won't be the last. Thanks a bunch.

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 11/25/11 at 10:54 AM

No need to try any more, this is wonderful as is.

Posted by George Hoerner on 07/06/16 at 10:46 AM

And it is great to see this as POTD

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/06/16 at 06:30 PM

Good to see this as POTD!

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