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never give up Hope.

on the sea, waves roll
and a bottle floats, alone and lonely
on an endlessly rippling sea.
"open me," it says. "open me."
"lose yourself in the mottled green
of my depths
and we can go on floating
forever and forever and forever."

a ship passes by; the resulting
rush of waves tumbles us over,
over and over, a turmoil of white and blue
and we sink together, illuminated by
watery sunbeams and the unbroken, erratic glistening
of fish flying past.

but the air in the bottle is buoyant and we rise again
and it is light and wishes
it is hope, protected by an
ancient, rusty metal cap
a cap tired and beaten and battered from
turbulent, violent oceans
for years and years and years.





"bottle,
bottle,
if I open you, you will sink.
your metal cap will be washed away
and all air lost, and the message inside you destroyed
replaced by bitter salty seas
and we will sink, sink
to endless, unknown depths."

"I don't care."
"it has been so long and lonely
floating on this vast wasteland by myself.
and I am tired, lost and alone.
let go." the bottle says.
Let go.

the rusty cap begins to peel off
and the air begins to escape.
I clutch the bottle tight to me
and hold it close as stormy seas wash over us.
we are there for a long, long time
beaten by freezing winds and
treacherous waters and
hungry sharks that swarm about us
till weeks and months and years blur together
or is it only hours and days?

But, it is an eternity before I make up my mind.
“enough,” I say.
Enough.

and suddenly,
watery light glints off the surface of the roiling sea once again
piercing through the blue, fragile and wavering
yet ever so strong and unmoved
unaffected by nothing put the passing
of clouds.

schools of fish dart through the water
silver flashes of light
dancing to a soundless, endless
music that only the ocean provides for them
a silent, deep joy that cannot be expressed in words
but only in the moment

sunbeams shine off the clear green glass of the bottle
and fish nibble the bottom of my feet.
I stand up, and
we have reached land.
grains of sand stick to the bottle and I, little flecks of gold, rough and grainy and reassuring.
the sea is gentle now, lapping at our feet like an eager dog, or a tender cat.
a seagull flies into a swaying palm, unhurried, and a harried crab scuttles across the blistering beach.
the sky is an infinite blue and peace, and so different from tempestuous waters
and sunshine is warm pockets of calm that surround us and sooth us on the teeming, sandy shore.
there is life
and
we are not alone.

"thank you for not opening me,
thank you for not letting me sink." says the bottle.
"I am not alone anymore.”
the cap falls off, but it is safe, for the stormy seas cannot reach us any longer.
the message falls out.
a message in a bottle.
I pick it up and tuck it into my heart.

the tide comes in and the bottle, solitary no more,
is tenderly washed away into the
mottled green of the ocean's depths,
where it will float forever,
and forever and forever.





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