Various and Sundry Poetry

She said, Sail hard

She said, the waves are going to be brutal.
She said, your boat will be ill-equipped.
She said, the ocean will not be a friend,
a goddess, a metaphor.
Sail hard.
I am looking at my thin arms.
I am considering that chaos
Just beyond the sandbar.
And clear as ice, I see
this journey is not for the faint-hearted,
the weak-kneed, the foal-limbed.
The roar of that wind, even now, before entry.
The barrel of that water.
I look at her with questions blinking from my eyelids,
salt already on my lashes.
How? How?
She doesn’t answer, only places a thumb against my cheek
to catch the first tear.
The slight pressure on that bone –
it is enough.
It is a compass.
It is the beginning of the first stroke.