I am (in) that place again, that underwater place.
Where I can’t breathe or feel an escape.
You may think I’d panic, struggle, fight for the surface. But I’ve been here many times before. I live balancing on a narrow reef. Raging seas on one side, deep bay on the other. It’s just a matter of time until I find myself in one or another. The reef cuts my feet and grows slick with blood and salt water. If a breaking wave doesn’t topple me, the long walk to the sky at the end… I slip you see. I always slip into the sea.
When I was younger I would scramble, claw at the slick barnacle covered stones. Magnificent struggles. Epics in desperation. But the pull is inevitable. The more I struggled the more I’d hurt myself, leaving pieces of me on the reef. Or worse, I’d rip blindingly into someone else, someone who cared, someone trying to pull me up by my hair. Or worse still, I’d pull someone under with me, mindlessly mounting them to keep my head above the surface. I’ve spent many winters riding the water logged corpses of lovers…
The strangest thing of all… I never remember climbing back onto the reef. I just realize there I am, it biting my feet. There’s no great moment of heroism, no surge of self, no selfless soul offering help. But there I stand and begin again, walking quietly towards the end.
So, no more struggling. Just drowning. Instead of frantic flailing, a controlled and dignified descent. A somber sinking. There are brief hesitations, hysterical heartbeats as the surface fades from cloudy eyes, while I endure the frigid liquescence…
thank you for putting your boots on my pillow i had almost forgotten that part of our little dance
they were such a mess the laces looked like someone had used them to strangle themselves so i replaced them and burned the evidence there were a lot of stains that looked like blood you must have been busy in your time away i knew there were others i just hoped what we had was something special you always end up back here with me the two of us alone in this big, empty house
i spent all night getting them ready now i’m weary and threadbare so you can start kicking me when i’m down at your leisure
but wait until i don’t see it coming the anticipation is killing me
I guess I have always had wings But they were curled up so tightly against my back I didn’t know that they were there I always felt slightly awkward A little off balance Like a piece of me was missing Then one day You reached behind me and started pulling I felt myself give I was moving Expanding And inch by inch Bone by bone Wings started to emerge You kept easing them out Tugging Coaxing Forcing them open Until every feather was gleaming in the sun Bewildered and in awe I looked you in the eyes and asked “Where did they come from?” You touched my cheek and answered “They were always yours little one. You just needed my help to set them free.”
my veins are bleeding all over themselves and no one wants to do a thing about it
just because it’s under the skin they act like it can’t possibly hurt
what if i just fold back a piece of skin like this to show them all the mess in there?
they would have to help me then wouldn’t they?
of course we will and we’ve got a pretty white coat to help you heal yourself with love love love and sooner rather than later we can slow your speech down to a mumble and your gait down to a shuffle that will stop all of the nasty bleeding on the inside
we love you
we can do everything about it
now, why don’t you be a dear and show us your insurance card so we can tell you what percentage of everything we’re willing to save you from