by Chloe N. Clark

The waves finally
were what changed him.
The ceaseless crash
and pull.
Or that’s what he’ll say
if anyone asks. He’ll say
how he couldn’t stand
the rushing of the deep
turning over or the color
or the weight.

He won’t say how
he looked back to the others
and only wanted
to be far away—oceans,
climates and continents,
zones of time.

But he doesn’t say, just lies
on the sand,
head bowed in something—
prayer, thanks,
the anguish of relief.