And so when his bridge was destroyed by the sea,
Xerxes I had the sea whipped. Three hundred lashes.
He branded the water with red-hot irons
and ordered his soldiers to shout at the strait.
I have tried to lash these errant thoughts,
have wanted to whip them to keep them in line.
I have wanted to make my mind eat soap,
have tried to force it to sit in the corner.
But the sea cared nothing about the lashes,
just as the mind is nonplussed by the soap.
The sea laps its tongues against my frustration.
Salt gets into my eyes, my beliefs, my throat.