Updated: Jul 17
Please, read along with the audio accompaniment below. Headphones (or device with spatial / 3D audio) recommended.
remember your wetness-
cold and murky,
me. A forbidden fluid came coiling round my limbs
Its flow- serpentine- somehow, both
I remember bathing in
you too hard, too soon, too
I’d pruned my fingertips
just to belong,
to stay afloat and croon on a current much too
I remember a sea of uncertainty
at your shore.
The rip tides crashing against my mind-
Your waves would meet my feet
as to implore
Yet, the thought of swimming freely felt
like nothing more than
I can feel you.
All around me, in fact.
Somehow, we contain multitudes
but I cannot
seem to contain
you- at least,
Why do you slip just past my grasp? Why
can I not I hold you? With what
unspoken secrets are you
imbued? Why can I not
stop? To abdicate
to what repeats in my
Waist-deep in water, weird fishes wiggling near my feet.
I feel gravel, shells.
I feel equally soaked and dry. I feel high.
I feel a chaotic,
cresting provocation rippling through
my body. I feel mud. I feel sun.
I feel imminence
from the western horizon.
I feel restless. I feel numb.
Head above water, and I’m drowning in who I’ve
"I just need to go deeper..."
I dove in.
I remember believing
I'd grown gills.
I recall the thrill of breathing underwater
as my body filled
with disillusionment. Pulling you in
until my lungs became full. Then, suddenly, feeling like a
fool. I felt
a fire in my throat, lead-heavy limbs, salinity on my tongue,
exasperated gasping for breath,
a longing for shore, for earth, frantically swimming for dock
I remembered that in order to escape you
I still needed you-
to hold me up, to keep me afloat.
The propulsion against my flailing limbs
to push me forward.
Your ebb to my flow, the salience of our
tension to keep me
My feet touched land
and I wept as I watched your waves turn to stillness.
And the remaining sun
from my skin.
And the moon shifted a lofty tide
And all my seasickness
drifted with the wind.
And I was left with nothing-
nothing to amend.
And though I parted from you,
I cannot pretend...
That the wetness ever
truly leaves you.
That the pruning of skin, the jarring frigidity, the rushing current
is a deterrent from
loving you, from wanting you.
That the perilous mysteries of the deep sea
don't also exist within
That I do not have an insatiable thirst.
That my heart doesn't feel as though it will burst
I do not want to be your sunken treasure-
a chest filled with fool's gold, no.
I will treat you as a wishing well
I will toss my niceties, my tears,
my dignity, time, attention, my fears
And I will walk away feeling lighter and dry.
Director of Photography & Editing: Vaughan W Harrison
Model: Nora Nneka (https://noranneka.com)
Assistance: Ken Wallace
Editing: Lightroom + Photoshop