Sunday Waves

by Jose Hernandez Diaz

I was at the beach painting a surfer riding a wave onto a canvas when suddenly the ocean water from the painting splashed onto my toes. The surfer came to life in front of my atheist eyes, only, as it turns out, he was the statue “David” by Michelangelo. The statue caught some gnarly waves. He was a natural, of course. The statue glided on the water, like a dream. The statue of David showboated for the Lady Madonna statues in the crowd. Somehow, this all made sense to all of us, despite logic. It was Sunday morning, after all. I watched in amazement with the crowd of local surfers and beach enthusiasts. At the end of the session, we gave the statue a standing ovation and said a Hail Mary. “Hail Mary, full of grace. Blessed are the waves.”

Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020) Bad Mexican, Bad American (Acre Books, 2024) and The Parachutist (Sundress Publications, 2025). His work appears in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, Yale Review, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He teaches generative workshops for Hugo House, Lighthouse Writers Workshops, and elsewhere. He serves as a Poetry Mentor in The Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program.