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HOSSEGOR
Surfing probably didn’t occur to the Vikings
   but then you never know – maybe one of Asgeir’s men 
       found himself oaring his chieftain’s faering

for this Biscay shore, just as a set wave jacked –
   the kind that narrows the eyes of the guns
      who yearly light up the Quicksilver Pro

(Slater, Fanning, Medina, Florence, Parko) –
   and intuiting to lean down the face of the monster
      felt it take, the shove as the hull slotted flush

into the vein of the sea god, frisson pitching through
   the crew like the shudder of a brained seal
      as they fluked the drop on an outside bomb.

You can almost see them now, rolling in from
   out the back like hoons on a banana boat,
      on course to plow through locals. A nerf howls

to a thud; a kitesurfer eats it. And there must
   have been some among the numberless wrecked
      who happened to cling to jetsam felicitously warped –

the waterlogged panel of a walnut armoire, say –
   as to hitch them a lift in the home stretch
      of this crumbling A-frame’s deep Atlantic fetch.

Perhaps one of them even cottoned on
    that after breathing, the art lies in the reading
      of the break, getting to grips with tide-shift

and how the wind’s caprice vexes the takeoff,
   the fickle line-up – but who among them
      could have envisaged a Tahitian king, carving?

The guns will return, who are now braving
   the skull-crushing torque of Teahupo’o.