Substance Abuse

by Nathan Yokey

A curling wall of teal wraps around her

and she feels each drop of spray

as she glides on her first wave.

A smooth euphoric stroke

of board and sea comes to an end,

the white water crests

and crashes. And she’s spit out the other side.


She turns back toward the open ocean, hoping

to paddle right back

to that first perfect swell.

Beachgoers watch knowing well

each wave will be smaller than the last.

Her board chips and cracks as she rides,

the tides take her in and out again,

and again searching

for that first perfect wave.

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