The unintended

It’s true,
as soon as we venture
into deeper water
I tend to become

afraid.
Between waves
it may be calm
but I think of things

that are treacherous
and deceiving—
I hold out my arms
against the blue-

green onrush.
Even with arms
wrapped around me,
I know ledges of sand

shift neither
from charity nor cruelty;
what washes up again
and again, pitching

and roiling,
does not necessarily
single any one thing out.
That’s what

unnerves me
the most: not
the pointed intention,
but its apparent absence.

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