WAVES – E. Martin Pedersen




When the wave of humiliation comes

it will knock you down

your shoulder and ear will bang on

the hard sand floor when you're

pushed down by tumbling saltwater entering

your nose

your lungs.

The wave wins, you are small.


When the wave of mortification comes

you will be hit over and over

you open your mouth

but no words come out

there is no name

for the emptiness

in your stomach pit.

In ways that cannot be blissed, that hurt.


I'm not saying, 'that's life'

we have been hit over and over

already if we're alive

death wish addiction

sexual errors irresistible

bad investments

the wrong food habits

pointless debasing work

laying depressed on the wood floor

sinking in mist that doesn't evanesce.

You never recover because there is

another wave.


As my friend said

as she held

my shaking hand,

"It's only fear."


Yeah, only waves.


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