In case you're wondering, the Poet Herself doesn't surf. But she'd like to learn--not for suicidal reasons.
I wrap myself in the gorgeous terror of knowing
These silk-seeming waves can crush bones.
I ride the waves, but it’s not like riding a horse.
Even a wild horse can be broken,
But waves will only break me as they break,
Unless I give myself over to them, acknowledge
They have all the power. The surfer has only balance,
And I could lose that at any second and plunge head over destiny.
That’s why I do this. Otherwise I could stay on the beach
Like those girls in full make-up and dry bikinis
And never even get my hair mussed up.
But it’s the possibility of danger I crave,
The fact that as I ride the curl of a wave
I might be riding my own doom.
When I saw those videos of the tsunami devouring
Japanese villages and farmland, I was half-envious, half-wishing
I could have been there to be annihilated
By water reclaiming the land
It never wanted to let go in the first place.