Barrier Breaker

by Alex Greenberg

So often we see the ocean
tinkering neatly
in its own space.

Bouncing the wet bodies
of swimmers
like grandchildren on its knee,

sucking the loose tooth of the shore
and brushing clean
backsides of jetties.

How fascinating
to see the waves
break rock for once

and shower over
the small children on their stomachs,
their hands reaching down

for crabs
in the rippling spool of navy.
How fascinating

to leave your own body
if just for a few seconds.
To be a boy,

digging through
the ocean’s sediment for crabs
and imagining yourself a man

digging between the car seats
for a lost wedding ring.
Outside the barrier

of even your own body.
How fascinating
to see the cat walk out

the back door
and rub its head
against a mailbox

instead of your cotton sleeve.
How fascinating to pull out
a water bottle from the freezer

and see the plastic split open
or to see man
rotating in space

like a doorknob turned gently by
the weak hand of an elderly.
And how fascinating

to find the teenage poet
thrusting her hand
out the bedroom window

to see what shape
the hairs on her hand make
when the wind ruffles them.