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  • Vaughan W Harrison

AT SEA

Updated: Jul 17



 

Please, read along with the audio accompaniment below. Headphones (or device with spatial / 3D audio) recommended.

I

remember your wetness-

cold and murky,

flooding

me. A forbidden fluid came coiling round my limbs

Its flow- serpentine- somehow, both

laminar and

turbulent


I remember bathing in

you too hard, too soon, too

long.

I’d pruned my fingertips

just to belong,

to stay afloat and croon on a current much too

strong.



I remember a sea of uncertainty

at your shore.

The rip tides crashing against my mind-

Feeling insecure…

Your waves would meet my feet

as to implore

my complacency;

Yet, the thought of swimming freely felt

like nothing more than

mythology


I can feel you.

All around me, in fact.

Somehow, we contain multitudes

but I cannot

seem to contain

you- at least,

not in

tact


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

choose to

stop? To abdicate

and acquiesce

to what repeats in my

subconscious:


I'M DROWNING


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

become

for you


"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,

thrashing,

exasperated gasping for breath,

a longing for shore, for earth, frantically swimming for dock

or berth.

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

sailing.

My feet touched land

and I wept as I watched your waves turn to stillness.

And the remaining sun

evaporated you

from my skin.

And the moon shifted a lofty tide

from within.

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

me.

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

as indemnity.


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

Sony a6400

Sigma 30mm

Editing: Lightroom + Photoshop



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