from the moment the seafoam first tickled her toes, she was infatuated.

the blue-green water sparkling in the sun.

the tall waves and their effortless power.

she longed to walk on its glassy surface,

marvel in her ability to defy the odds, 

but the water turned a deep gray as if to say,

we don’t want you here.


the ocean’s defiance only made her love grow. 

she heard its rhythm at night,

saw its sparkle when she closed her eyes.

everyday she returned to the shore.

fighting off the cold, she waded deeper and deeper each time.


one cloudy day, she bought a wetsuit

and took the plunge.


the frigid water took the air out of her lungs,

but she kept swimming.

the current pushed her towards the shore,

but she pushed back, determined to get past the break.

without warning, the clouds cleared

and the glassy surface had returned.


she had done it.


she tilted her head back and surrendered to the sea.

she floated for hours, maybe days, she wasn’t sure.

she chose to stay in the water,

sprawled like a snow angel,

at the current’s mercy.


maybe it was gradual, maybe it was sudden

– that part she’s still trying to figure out – 

her limbs went numb

and she was no longer floating.


she was out of control,


but when she looked back at where the land should have been,

all she saw was more water

stretching for miles.

she was surrounded.


she knew she couldn’t swim forever.

every instinct told her to get out.

but she had nowhere to go. 

after all, who is she without the ocean?


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