Three steps into the deep water before the sandbar fell away and the boy was grasped by the ocean dark fingers of kelp and steel gray And he was gone, 9 years old and lungs filled with the miasma of the gyre.
Sightless eyes drew the inquisitive wrath of the spirits of the water; they who had feasted on the madness of mariners as though it were a succulent meat; the delicate touch of small gods who built empires on the boy's body for the idolatry of plankton, before belief failed.
And still the boy hung frozen, laved in salt from a thousand thousand rivers hair billowing like fine fronds of water weed his mouth placed in an unended cry until the deep ocean claimed him. Mortal remains were beheld by the eyes in the unlighted places.
When the boy woke, a score of years onward the first breath was the appeal of fire Nails ragged and hair stiff with salt he stumbled three steps back to the sand And prayed a debt of thanks to the storm-maker who had returned him in exchange for worship