day 11: stream of consciousness


With his stubbled jaw, he asks how I got the cut on my back and I touch it for the first time. My skin is raised, a long line across my side that streaks toward my spine. I bet it’s an alarming pink, blood brought to the surface. The salts on my fingerprints make it sting and immediately I miss the ocean. The water up here was always too cold for him–I would wade out, count to five, and duck under a wave. My hair floats, drawing away from my scalp, little snakes, like Medusa. I fight the urge to surface and I touch my ribs. It’s the kind of cold that kills everything. I come up for air, the cut on my back starts to throb and I wonder what it’s from, I wonder what to tell him. I don’t know. I fill my lungs to the brim and dip under the water again. That feeling after watching a scary movie and you’re alone. I hug my knees into my chest, the smallest version of my body, hovering. I don’t mind my surroundings but I don’t like the earth in here. The ocean floor has always scared me.



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