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“to the subtle air breathed/ by beings like us who walk this sphere,/ the change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.” — Walt Whitman

Stand here; where dry sand becomes cold and wet.
Crouched in your confirmation dress. Feel this.

From the wave’s deep grave, from the endless threat
chafing and chained in those breakers, the bliss

of the drowned, the wild curl, spasm, panting —
do you get it? Tell me, can you explain

the force at work here? What do the living
understand? Long after your first blood stain

soaks through your knickers, long after the change,
what will save you, greedy virgin? Romance?

Take a lover, still the sea will surprise
you, grab you, consume you, fill you with strange

love. As if your human lungs stood a chance,
as the waves touch you, as they lick your thighs.