Volume 33, Number 3

American Waves

Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how
—“Surfin’ Safari,” The Beach Boys 

The waves are full of so many dead bodies
this summer, you hit them with your surfboard
but there’s no time to feel sorry.
Here’s a Ukrainian baby, a solider, a woman.
Do they count, you wonder, crouching low;
their shore is so far away & a President says No.
Here’s a kid from Uvalde, TX but the shark/
shooter got to her first & you wish Jaws
had swallowed that small girl-pulp wearing 
green sneakers so you don’t have to see 
what’s in the blood sea.    A school of 
mindless embryos swims under your surfboard,
mothers tangled in a net & staring up at you
with hooks in their open mouths.
A President is the eel that swims through them all.
You ride a big wave over AR-rifle shot-up people, 
dead hands holding groceries, hot dogs, Cokes,
honor certificates, little flags   waving like
seaweed under the water.  Charlie don’t surf:
you whisper the line from that war movie, 
wishing you were surfing into the end credits 
of this American movie                  which you are

—Tricia Marcella Cimera