The roped off sea is supposed to be safer,
that’s the way it seems at least,
though anything, I imagine
that actually wants to get in
will find it easy enough, and anything
that actually wants to get out
certainly can find its way.
The warm sun massages
the muscles of my back,
the warm sun colors
the water and the clouds.
Not far beyond the rope
the interrogative eyes of barracuda
swim slowly past — they’re friendly here it’s said
and just beyond that I’ve heard
that an underground river empties,
sweeping upward among the corals,
but here within the buoys
all is well today — as usual
the children swim and frolic
without concern
while we parents drink our sweet
refreshing pina coladas.
A dog may drift by in search of handouts
only to be run off by the help.
A poor woman, overladen
and trudging the beach
may try to sell us jewelry
before, she too, is angrily
sent away.
Oh, tell me, why go to the reef today
when these markers promise
a better tan and
say nothing
will ever happen if you stay
carefully within them?