His tongue was tied,
perhaps with the seaweed
that would cling to my toes
when I waded in the deep waters.
Sand spread across his kitchen floor,
clastic rocks building in his brain.
My hand had gone to his,
to urge him to help me against
the pull of tide,
but he was as cold as the wind,
clouds billowing around his mind.
Unresponsive eyes were as blue as the shore
I had always so admired.
A shore I would never be able to see with my grandfather again.
The ocean suffocates me.
A heartbeat thuds in my ears like
the slap of grey waves pounding against rocks.
Tasteless water fills my lungs,
air spreads from my mouth
choppy and churning as though they’re the swells
during a storm.
Numbness rushes like an arrow
through my heart;
and I’ve been sitting on my soul for too long,
the radio static of
lack of blood consumes me.
There is anger burning my mind
until it is as red and irritated
as the skin of my back, scolded by the sun.
I vow to never visit the ocean again.
Poseidon swore against my grandfather that day,
had sent him down to the watery graves
of the deep ocean.
He lay in his coffin,
but his lungs strained for air
that was being replaced by water thicker than blood.
The saltiness scraped away his skin
until he was the twin of a skeleton,
propped up only by pillows
and living through a tube
hooked through his veins,
dead set on replacing blood,
with the sea,
to return him to his natural state of being.
Perhaps I allowed myself to be swallowed up by the sea
because I was born with saltwater
coursing through my veins.
The hospital is a lifeboat,
a flimsy, desperate vessel rocking with the wind;,
and the ground underneath me
creaks like old, dampened wood.
I feared that my mother’s tears
would flood the world,
and I would return to the wide span of
Pacific that strained to meet the blue sky,
where my life
had been sculpted together.
This time, if I returned,
there would be no anchor to keep me
from floating away,