January 2006 /Volume Seven / Issue One
Steven Klepetar
Into The Sea

A man walks into the sea up to his waist.
His hair is gray, almost white, his baggy
blue trunks gleam in the day’s glare.  He
is my father.  I can see his chest tangled
with silvery threads of hair, prominent
veins on his legs, bruises like wet plums.
He squints back toward shore, left
hand shielding his eyes.  You can tell
it hurts him to look into the sun, smeared

across the sky, water glistening with sharp
little stars.  They stab, daggers of light. 
I rub my eyes red.  He looks over bodies
crowded on the beach, red umbrellas, yellow
and blue, music blaring from radios, his face
deep-lined, his look not quite frightened,

almost desperate, but also resigned.  I call
out to him, my voice breaking against all this
shimmering, this familiar, hot and wavering
scene.  Would I lead him back to shore,
back to the safety of sand and white lifeguard
towers and children digging with pails?
Beyond the breakers he floats, now small
in the distance, rhythmically bobbing, too far

in those green waters for my burned and aching eyes.