There was an Ocean and We Could Not Drink

When I say that you are the only one that I have ever wanted, I don’t say it because not saying it feels like eating sand stone crushed again— the tiny grains digging into my teeth almost the imperceptibles cracks will finally give away, but rather I say it because it is true.

If I want you it is because imagining the taste of your skin is like escaping from places that I’ve seen in dreams but have never quite been able to find my way out of. There was a city once where women wore dresses made up of the dust from the wings of Luna moths and the webs of spiders. And the men dressed as the shadows of the ones they’d lost—the lovers, the loved, the missing. The taste of your skin would wash this city from me I think.

I think of you sometimes as water. You as a wave against me. I used  to be afraid of the deepest parts of oceans. Of that dark and that cold. But, I’ve learned that there are fish that make their own light down there. I want the waves that crash and break against me to be the waves of you. Then the breaking, the crash, might feel like something turning and coming into something whole again.

I think I tried to tell you that I like the way you sometimes make me think of lakes and water. Or maybe I never tried to tell you, not as a whisper in your ear or as a word between us. Maybe I tried it in writing and I couldn’t ever quite get it all the way to you. You as water, as lake, as waves.

I found seashells, before I met you, littered once across the road. I was a thousand miles from the sea. I wondered where they might have come from—a child lugging her treasures somewhere new, dropped by a hundred birds flying across the country, left behind by the ocean that is here in another universe. I picked them up but could never find them all. They are all gone now. I guess that eventually they must have turned to dust or sand or something.


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