Barefoot amidst the movement of lapping, cold waves—a gentle soul walks onward into the ocean. Mangrove branches loop out from the water and marine alluvium soils. Tiny fish grow within the intertidal zone, protected by the plants and disrupted by her calm feet digging into the sand. Hair wild amidst the cool sun rays softly kissing each eye into a deeper caramel hue. The water against her strong ankles as low pools fill and recede into the Earth. Gusts pick up cooling a body flowing in tandem with the ocean waves as the heart connects to the soul of the ocean.
I sit next to the ocean that is reclaiming the land and the rain starts to sweep in between the mangroves and dead fish. Soaked pages take in the tears of the sky as if they’ve been parched for quite some time. The ocean and sky have reclaimed their original place on land and floating aimlessly– a red jacket. The dyed red leather is engorged with salt-water while crabs laugh at that foolish girl in tatters.
She was drowning for so long like a fish out of water choking on the gases in the atmosphere
So she learned how to swim through the buildings and she creeped through the cracks.
I was always a fish not quite belonging in that or the other sea
Yet I could always see me and my scales that reflected everything but never absorbed.
So I rode that underwater wave or ripple or have at it whatever you wish
Until I became lost at its ending to swim back but more slowly this time.
I numbed my fins to everything around me and only saw from eyes sideways as I squirmed
Here and there to get a better view—damn how I felt that view in my cartilage.
Never enough grown or graceful enough for mermaids to whom Triton instilled an internal compass
But I knew that if I followed the moon she would bless me with her radiance
I was a reflection of her who was herself a reflection of a burning sun
So brightly in her white glow that she only took from something else.
Like moon like fish following currents and orbits and reflecting existence in ways unimaginable to so many eyes.
Every moment that I’ve ever been laid low I end up listening to songs that remind me to hold on.
This girl walked into the ocean prepared to never come out. She was ready to become a fish because at least that way she could choose to swim in solitude. On land she was a butterfly with broken wings, frequently caught and held hostage in cages fabricated of fingers and human flesh on bones. Her wing colors used to be green, they represented esperanza. With every cage she became more muted until she lost that faith and the velvet went away from her wings. Now gray, like the color of dark and rainy skies she flew soul-first into the freezing water. Her wings broke away and she confined herself to her newly formed gills. As a fish she was olive green like the bucks she used to give to indulge in the gifts of life. Those very same gifts led to peace on the horizon where she could fly towards the colorful sky in the sunset and where she could rise with the sun.
Always rising and falling. The sun etched its tattoo on her skin.
Now she’s a bottom dweller and she just wants to swim with the current but the fishermen keep trying to catch her. Will she ever live again? They call her home because she provides sustenance when in reality she only wants to swim away but she can’t. Her skeleton is starting to hurt and her spine is becoming frail from the gravity pushing her down.
She wakes up in a pool of metal, iron and steel, that keep her pinned down. The scales have tipped and not in her favor. The bills grow larger as if they had a life of their own. In her throat form stones pushing down into her bleeding heart and encasing it in their harshness. She used to be green, she dreamt of being orange, but now she’s all hues of gray.
The butterfly is a distant memory.