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the voices in your head

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they commanded you to be afraid of the ocean
drilled it into your mind
burned it into your skin
made you repeat the words back to
them with wide and frantic eyes
the sea swallows little girls like me
steals their flesh and
spits their bones out
when there is nothing
left to save

swearing to keep you safe
protect you from the treacherous depths
they hide you away in a room
highhighhigh above the town
that has never been
your
home

later
(after deemed
obedient)
they allow you to watch
the tide ebb and flow
from a window
that has no lock
yet refuses to open
(refuses to let you breathe)
you gaze transfixed
as greedy waves consume
the shore
inch by inch
before lazily
creeping back to
uncover their discarded prey

(you wonder
what it would feel like to have
water fill your lungs
until every molecule of oxygen is forced from
the fluttering organs
wonder how your body
would look slathered in
salt

tragically beautiful
you decide)

one day
you discover a door
that you
recall always existing
but never
seeing
(perhaps you were never looking)
the brass knob is cool
and inviting under
your slenderwhite
fingers

they catch you on the boardwalk
hands grabbing at your clothes
hair
body
trying to pull you away
(trying to rescue you)
but the ocean has been calling to you
for as long as you can remember
and its voice drowns out their
pleas

they watch horrified as your feet touch sand

drawn to the water's edge you observe as the tide rushes in around (too) thin ankles

the sea swallows you
steals your flesh and
spits your bones out
when there is nothing
left to
save





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