The IV goes in
around the time the bottom
drops out. You’ve seen it,
and you can do nothing for it
but go with the flow.
Your reserves drain into the sand.
Never one to become
habituated to panic
you lose it before you remember
to let go.
But it’s not too late, darling, to lay back
your head and drift
to the sign of the sea,
then parallel to home
until riding the waves free.
It’s so easy for you, she said,
so hard and dry, with beak and claw in crust.
But only when she said, This is what
is called a complication,
did I feel myself go under.
© Mark Kerstetter
Woman dies after riptide drags family offshore in Pass-a-Grille
Mark Kerstetter lives in Florida where he is a regular beach bum June through October. His poems have appeared in Evergreen Review, Connotation Press, Unlikely 2.0 and other journals. He blogs as The Bricoleur.