Photo by Olivia D Bryant
At the point of exhaustion, I shimmy out of my restless dreams and don my
Night coat before lighting the old lantern that hangs in wait by the kitchen door.
If I could but remember the right words that would bring you forth from the
Shadow realm, I would shout them above the crescendo of waves that refuse
To relent in their assault on the shoreline glowing faintly in front of me now.
The rocks are cool and treacherously slick beneath my pale bare feet, so I
Extend my left arm in attempt to balance my frame above the weathered stones.
I reach the softness of the sand with more relief than I would truly admit,
And boldly take the last few steps until the water covers the hem of my gown.
I hear your song in the evaporating sea spray and timidly give voice to a song
Of my own, a melody born of the foolish yearning that ferments in my heart.
The wind shifts of its own accord, and I surely imagine the fragmented harmony
Rising up with the changing tide as I move the lantern from side to side in search
Of the source of the enchanting sound; I dare not stop my breathless serenade.
The cold wetness of my garments against my knees causes me to realize that
I have been drawn further into the ocean, and the scope of my situation begins
To assemble in my mind and gut as a clever combination of excitement and fear.
The wind and the waves work now in unison to solidify my predicament, and I
No longer possess the strength to move forward or retreat. I stand mesmerized.
The lantern threatens to falter and its flame teases with a wicked, darting display.
The small open boat is upon me without my notice, and I am startled as the current
Betrays my solid stance on the ocean floor, pulling me under into the blackness.
I debate whether mere seconds or lifetimes have passed as the salty liquid rushes
Into my nose and lungs, and I struggle to regain my foothold on the fickle, sandy surface.
I feel the dull hardness of the boat scraping against my flimsy spine as a sturdy
Set of hands hoists me from an awkward stance into the wildly bobbing craft.
Choking up the remnants of the sea, I gasp for a sweet taste of night air and slowly
Focus my burning eyes on the veil of darkness to gaze in wonder upon the face of fate.