Flow ocean —
Wash away the shards of glass in my eyes
And take with you the garnet currents gurgling out of my soul.
So that I can finally find solace in slumber
Without seeing his face looking back at me
Who pushes past men and women dressed like crows, unable to face the ecru painted casket
Sneakers screeching against hard tile floor, feet drifting and slipping at every corner, every turn until I cannot breathe and crave the petrichor that is waiting outside.
It fills my lungs, and I close my eyes so that the pebble colored sky’s melancholy jewels blend with my own heavy downpour.
I stay like this for a while but begin to make my way into the hard-pressed avenue;
A woman clad in business attire shoves me
I stammer and collide, the world shifts and I see his face, not the woman who is on the floor yelling but his face
I am not listening
I am not listening
I am not listening.
He is looking at me with a vacant expression,
He expects me to know, I should have known
That the seaweed around his neck was only getting thicker
I should have known, I never knew, that he had never learned how to swim.
Through congested lanes, I rub my eyes and avoid anyone’s gaze, his gaze
Flinch at every touch and mumble apologies, rain seeping into my mouth, my heart, but I refuse to stop. I refuse to look up and see his face. I refuse to stop until I’ve reached my street.
We used to ride our bikes here in the rain
We used to think we could outrun a storm
We used to think lots of things until cracks and flashes would scare us away
How foolish we were to believe the skies would play fair and let us win.
How foolish of me to think you were OK.
My feet mercilessly slam into a puddle as if there is something deeper there,
But I know the truth,
I know about the memory of me and you,
But I do not want to see the way you look at me,
Through cruel ripples and grainy cement,
As I flinch away from home and continue walking,
Avoiding all the cracks but never forgetting to perturb the murky puddles,
Quash your gaze as you appear a reflection, as if you were standing next to me, another one of life’s cruel stratagems because you are dead and not alive.
Because I am not dead, but alive,
Because I don’t know know why you died and why you had to die,
You were only a quarter way into life,
You were only you and I could not do enough to save that little boy who moved away subject to life’s inequitable touch times ago.
Who could not swim but float.
Like a deflated balloon I have popped and find myself somewhere I do not recognize but I do somehow and I begin to make my way up and talk to God
Who is God I will never know.
After you died I stopped going to the places you’d never visit, stopped trying to remind myself of what if
I can’t vocalize my cries uphill against the shrieking wind as it desiccates my two parted lips, pink only by design, not by choice, and so I choke full of air, but still what if
God was real
And he let me see you one more time, if I just made it to the top of this hill, and used my legs for once because I never used my legs when you needed me to make it to the top of this hill
I never thought you would care about a pair of limbs thin like that of a crane, covered in childhood scars, our scars
I thought you forgot by the time I reached the top that first time since they had faded away
Is a sailboat dancing with the sea except they both waltz to a different melody,
One I cannot hear because I am immune to such pleasures only a sailor can grasp,
Much like I was when I failed to bring you back inside,
When I could only watch you
My body numb because we were both treading dangerous waters, only I did not have rotting seashells in my ears.
The boat dances no more,
And the waves spray me an apology
My body becoming loose, salty puckered drops dot my arms and I roll down sandy dunes sticking out like a treasure chest of flesh.
Skies moisten all around me and I press my cheek into dampness
Hoping to forget that I have not stopped weeping
That I will have to go back
But the sea is now calm with regret
I am its progeny and it feels for me
Nipping at my clothes high tide cries,
Midnight aquamarine and dismal viridescent spilling onto my body,
Cradling any and every part of me of which I want to hide from him,
I use the waves as a blanket and toss turning despondent knowing well how fast the water will fill my lungs
Make way, make way, I want to croon
There are only gurgles frothing from my mouth and salt as I sink,
Into the foam and disappear, mind blank but I still think of him.
Except this time he is finally dead, he will always be dead.
No matter how many times I run,
No matter how many times I stomp,
Climb, Sink, Drown.
No matter where I go Death will always come,
Away from a pallid sun, like a child in the arms of a mother, the currents washing away my thoughts until there is nothing left to see.
He is dead and there is nothing left to do.
I know there is nothing left to do until we meet again, but for now
He is gone and I am free.
Contact Pamela Hasbun at [email protected].