The Sea Storm Comes Ashore

At Pt. Reyes, I drive over there, winding upon the Drake highway. I pass Inverness and continue through blustery oaks. It is late to drive to the sea and far away, but I have to see it, even in the rain. The western skies are gray as a battleship blowing my way. I am alone in that little car they loaned me, the radio doesn’t work. The seventeen-year-old girl I am courting left far behind in Turlock. I have moved into a commune and sleep with a 100-pound white lab, vacuum every day and keep a fine garden, but daydream of the shy woman next door and watch her out the kitchen window. I drive right into the wind along the flat grassy marsh to the parking lot. The sea reaches over the beach, over the parking lot, down the skinny entrance road and grabs me, the huge tornado waves busting everything in my room. God shows Her face to me for a second, though no one is looking. I can destroy anything anytime, it’s all mine anyway, I made it, I can bash it to bits if I want. And the roar of God terrifies, the wave sucks me out to sea.

I spin till my body soul mind heart name sex separate and spin apart. The car disintegrates like the universe that I watched through recent months of exploration. Nothing matters, all is finished, except the winding.

I jerk the steering wheel round without getting sucked into that grasping ocean. The Pacific, they say, tiger claws. I hear it roar, echoing clear back to Santa Rosa, in every little seabreeze I’ve ever felt in my hair since that day when I survived with a warning.

E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 35 years in eastern Sicily where he teaches English at the local university. His poetry has appeared most recently in Ginosko Literary Journal, Abstract Magazine, Neologism Poetry Journal, Poesis, and Thirteen Myna Birds. Martin is an alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. His collection of haiku, Bitter Pills, has just come out. He blogs at:

Photography by William J. Stribling.