After Reading My Own Poetry

I waste words returning to scenes
and themes I do not understand.
What does it mean to have lived
between Pacific tides? I carry this
in my heart, yet cannot explain
how freighter stacks and cormorants,
tide pools and salt marshes,
catching waves and deep sea fishing,
lighthouses and gulls have shaped
me—and yet they have.
And though I now live far inland,
and saltless air smells wrong,
I carry the sea within, returning to
the littoral zone with each
changing of the tides,
and always will as long as I have breath.


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