We created oceans with waves,
and I know that doesn’t make sense, for sounds to come
before vibrations and light before the rising sun,
but everything was seismic to us.
When I think of the first time I saw
you I can’t see past the sand particles sitting
on your right cheek. Each grain
held onto the curvature
of your face and before I knew it I was
buried knee deep, flipping and flapping
my arms like a child awkwardly astounded
that you were made up of atoms
and particles that were smaller and of more
abundance than God’s poetic dirt
stuck to your sunscreen skin.
I felt big when I was with you.
Not domineering or powerful, not overbear-
ing or oppressive – just important.
Yet if anything I should have felt small.
Your ocean heart constantly
brought in a tide that forced me to swallow
my salty pride and listen to a sea of
whispers that could only be heard
when I stopped picking up seashells and
pressing them to my ear. There
were other things I needed to hear, something
different than a back-and-forth
reflection of waves inside of my head.
And so little by little, wave on wave, you taught
me how to use my hands. With shovels and shells we built
castles out of worn down rock, making the
defeated strong and sturdy again.
I felt taller when I was with you,
and I know I said smaller, however this
statement is just as true because tides
eventually knock down tyrants’
castles and the strong waves knocked me down
too. But every fall into the sea
left me with more seaweed between my toes,
salt dried to my skin, and another chance
for my legs to walk to shore
and stand again.
To think that I thought the oceans
carried the blue waves and then pushed
them, telling them where to go;
what to do; who to be.
I now know it takes the small
to make the big:
can make a sea.