I have all these pebbles in my pockets.
See, when you try to tread water, but then
remember you do not know how to swim,
having pockets full of stones weighs you down.
At least this way I may catch just a glimpse
of what the ocean has to hold. But well,
I’m sinking now, each pebble taking me
a further foot into the briny sea,
yet have no underwater creature here
to keep me company on my descent.
I reach a hand out every now and then.
When I find a pretty pebble, it too
gets put into my pocket. Down we go.
This one looks like the face of someone that
I used to know. They used to see me then.
They used to smile, to say hello, to care.
It goes into my coat for safe-keeping.
Another mile down, another stone,
this time in the shape of a broken heart.
As I grasp it, it falls away in two
and, in reaching out, I can only save
the smaller half. The other was for you.
I hide the tiny chunk within my jeans
and so descend again. It’s darker now.
The sun, blotted out above the surface,
is no more than a greenish hue. Down here,
it’s cold. Down here, it’s lonely. Down here,
I find another rock, heavier than
any I have found thus far. I take it.
It feels as sharp as the tongues that told me
I was never good enough. I believed them.
It hurt at first, then there was only silence.
I put the rock into my breast pocket.
Ignorance isn’t bliss, but drowning is.
My lungs fill up with ocean and I feel
okay now. It does not hurt at the end.
I lie flat, here, on the freezing sand that
attempts to bring me home. I take a breath.
Drink deep. A kaleidoscope of blue
and green and white emboss my sight.
With pockets fit to burst I lay below,
oceans deep, making angels in the sand.