Sunfish

August 8, 2012
By
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Once we finish hoisting the sail and preparing
The little sailboat
It is pushed into the shallow water
And we climb aboard,
Wincing as the September water
bites our ankles.
The pleasant wind carries us off, and we make haste.
The heavy sea breeze sucks the boat along
And the shoreline fades in the distance.

Our fourteen-foot boat skims the surface of the water
Like a toy in the bathtub,


the ugly duckling
Of the surrounding forty-footers
And the powerful motorboats
Of the Black Rock Yacht Club.

I break a sweat that plasters my bangs
To my forehead that lies directly below my old, faded,
Sun, salt, and sweat-stained
Little League hat.
As I pull the prickly yellow rope in
I am a suddenly a Chinese sailor on a vast
Treasure ship,
A British sailor, cannonballs splashing around my vessel.

The skies darken and the clouds
chuckle down upon the seas,
their stratus smiles morphing to cumulus
frowns.

Now it is my turn to smile,
My audacity burning inside me
Like a metallurgist’s furnace.
I climb to the front of the boat
And lay on the bow.

The waves rhythmically barrage
The front of our boat like the elongated tick of a clock.
The waves seem to exponentially
Heighten,
Each one more intimidating than the next.
My head butts into the big, brackish waves
When the tip of the boat goes under,
Weighed down by my body.
When the “refreshing” waves wash over my body,
goosebumps start to form.
I hang my drenched T-shirt on the boom.

The sun pushes its way through the crowd of clouds
And breaths light and heat on the world,
Like a fire-breathing dragon.
The boat
rides the waves,
leaving the ornate pleasure boats near the shore,
a galloping, glorious hippocampus,
and I am its rider.





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