Following that, stern-faced authorities suggested
you develop hobbies unlikely to attract
the attention of local apex predators.
You had to concede that made a lot of sense,
so you took to your mail-order
quarter-scale models of sunken cruise liners
with appropriate zeal. You imagined
what it must feel like to drown
as you bore down on the cheap plastic parts,
locking each one to the other,
smearing noxious glue when needed,
deciding the sea was awful,
nearly infinite as far as you were concerned.
Almost a week passed.
You made mustard sandwiches
and watched John Wayne films,
weeping when each was about to end
and you felt tired but good,
the way convalescence looks,
on-screen, with lap shawls in abundance
and guys in starched white scrubs
propelling your made-of-wood wheelchair
through fussy Victorian gardens.
You were too close to the ocean,
either one, and down the block
a goldfish pond bubbled like soda
in a neighbor's weed-twisted lawn.
Whenever you passed, whistling like a pressure cooker,
you could feel the water press
against your shaking ribs
with no real malice, just blank disregard;
whenever the blurred image
of your body moving over the green water
followed you back home,
you thought of the vague pleasures
of Kansas or Fifteenth Street,
or anywhere that hadn't turned so oppressive.
I'll write when I arrive, you said
to the unfortunate, to the curious,
who watched you wave from the ledge of the horizon.