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Beyond the Final Sandbar (for Deena and Derek)

As we entered the Gulf, gulls above us were laughing out loud as if guffawing, our bodies so buoyant in liquid salt,

bobbing like corks in the deep ultramarine green troughs between the sandbars where we collected our breath in waist-deep sea

before plunging headlong into the next trough. We could see beyond us the difference in the hue and clarity of sea,

the line of demarcation on the outward slope of the final sandbar we foolishly kept driving toward,

risking cramps and close encounters with creatures of nothing but muscle, hunger, and row upon row of ever-

replenishing, serrated teeth, awaiting us in the clearer, more deeply hued depths of open ocean

we kept struggling to get to like wide-eyed, gasping four-year olds catapulting their vulnerable lives in darkness

to the climax of a horror tale.

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