The Green Room
The sunrise surfers wake and walk and wait in darkness
through mist or rain, as gray dawn evolves
an edge of yellow, pink, or paler gray.
Each morning, these surfers paddle into cold wet salt
to find the line where weighty water breaks
and wait again for waves—flat or barrel,
smooth or chop.
Regardless of weather, sky, or waves, they practice
balance and strength,
entrance and exit.
The powerful part of the wave is the pocket
ahead of the break.
The word love—like dude—can mean anything
depending on inflection.
The heart releases trauma when it loves,
when it takes the drop
into the tube and soars
through the green room
on and under the ocean.
The perfect wave does not show up for us;
we show up for it, embracing imperfection,
even when waves draw back and expose the sea bed—
even when they suck the sea bed dry
and strand us in sand and rotting kelp—especially then.
For love is not a gift but a job:
every morning no matter what
into the ocean.
Published in Turtle Island Quarterly