Terra Firma

i ain't much for the ocean,
the way it's always grabbing at you
trying to pull you to its breast
like an old smelly aunt 
enfolding you in her undulation
the swampy smell and the way your hair
never gets truly clean or untangled
too much stink
too much seaweed and fish piss and
gelatinous creatures washing up on shore
the way it lures you in by acting calm
then cold cocking you when you think you're safe
and dragging you off to parts unknown
miles below the slick calm surface

if it must be water then
give me a wide, slow, fresh river or
the hustle of rapids, leaping over rocks,
conspicuous, not at all stealthy
a river is less grabby
though not to be fully trusted
give me red dirt and rolling hills
cicadas and a field of queen anne's lace
chiggers and all
fur and feathers, not slippery scales
give me mountains and forest
a billion years of layers
with life teeming in every fracture and fault
the breeze, the green, the cycles of nature

i ain't much for the ocean
i can love your mountains, your heights, your hills
i can't handle your depths.

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