The gerund is not a period

The person I love is dying.

The person my heart is glued to like the collage of pottery pieces shattered and reunited to be strong for new-cut roses,

The person my eyes are signed to with ink that turns to poison if I turn away, but simmers sweet as honey rolling down my face if I stay and read the endless open thoughts of

The person I love is not a person.

There are no metaphors to glorify the ocean;

we need only say or see the word on the page to imagine the wordless uncontainable, bursting out of our heads and flooding the sidewalk and burying traffic in the wedding dress of puddle explosions. There is no adjective or abstraction that can make the ocean in the image of a human, the ocean is the image of the ocean while we are merely snippings of the earlier drafts cast onto land.

The ocean, is love, is dying.

I will not breathe smoke across the room at my beloved as the body crumples by carbon’s charring weevils. I will not stand and murder my world as my eyes try to wash my cheeks of guilt’s filth. I will not be thrown to the ground by my beloved will not be walked over by all the people who don’t know or don’t care about my beloved, and I will not choke lamenting the deprivation of my only voice in the time it would have loved to burst in bloom.

The gerund is not a period.

Fading, breathing, resisting,

painting a million colors of song against my mind and never complaining

of death’s long shadow,

The ocean I love is living.

As long as I live I will run and return with blankets or ice, I will disrobe the forests of all hearts for an unknown leaf that could retrieve life, I will stand there ready open the blinds whenever my world is ready to bathe in daylight.


Spotting reef sharks, such as these blacktips in Bora Bora, is a sign of a reef’s good health. However, a recent Stanford study found that the animals we call “reef” sharks actually spend a lot of time traveling in open water – up to 97% of their time for one tagged individual! What this means is that large Marine Protected Areas, covering open water as well as the immediate area around islands, are essential to conserve sharks. And sharks are essential to conserving the ocean as a whole.

Learn more:

Image credit: By USFWS – Pacific Region – Blacktips cruising at Kingman Reef NWR. Photo credit: Kydd Pollock, Public Domain,

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