A lake does not please
me as much as the sea,

asking for little but the body
to be skipped like a stone

across a much too still surface
lucky to be interrupted by

a pickerel nosing up sunward
or a spinner lure drawn to its shore,

what is filed away there not sufficing
for one lifetime, never mind one, felt twice

while with the sea one is taken
note of by eons of passages, shipwrecks,

the gasps and inked pages
of lost voyagers, crews —

one’s flesh whispered assurances
out the blue-black of its depths,

leafed through as we fell out
one silence into the next,

for even the seals a-bask on their backs
at the end of its self-slapping, reach,

or those fish lit-from-within
on its darkest of shelves

will never settle for the land-locked, clichéd
when likening its lack of letting-up, chill.