Source: The Ocean Inside(University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996)
After Kenji Takezo fell from a wave,
The turbulence of whitewash confused
His sense of direction.
He breathed in
When he should have
Held tight. By accident, he swallowed
The Pacific. The water poured down his throat,
A blue cascade he could not see.
He felt in his stomach
The heavy life of the ocean.
It wasn’t funny, but he giggled
When a school of fish tickled his ribs.
He went home, the surf not rideable,
It was no longer there,
The water weighted in his belly.
That night, while he slept, the tide moved.
The long arms of the moon
Reached inside him pulling the Pacific free.
When he woke the next morning,
He lay in a puddle of ocean that was his.
Rick Noguchi, “The Ocean Inside Him” from The Ocean Inside. Copyright © 1996 by Rick Noguchi. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.