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Mar 2018
we went to catalina once
hoping to see seals.
it must have been the third or fourth beach
(all rock)
that we kayaked to,
when we saw it.
we shrieked with glee
until, honing in,
saw something unnatural—
a perfectly round hole
gaping in its belly.

we shrieked again.

sometimes i feel like that seal.
my heart has this round hole in it,
gaping wide,
unable to ever be filled.
why is it that we feel our emotions in our heart so strongly?

breathe.
i need to remind myself
it’s just the caffeine.
caffeine gives my heart holes.
so do unanswered calls
when you’re desperate for the person
you love.

breathe.
the caffeine will wear off soon,
and you’ll be able to fall into the elusive sweetness of slumber.
don’t think about
loves long past
faces, eyes, smiles you cherished so hard
so long ago.

all you have now is you.

you are responsible for the decisions that led you here.
technology has made us more connected than ever,
a dozen faces running through your mind.

you miss them all.
with the touch of a button you could be close again.
to be so close is dangerous. you can fall back in.
but you, or life, or fate, has led you here.
some things are out of your control.

but things that are under your control are much worse.
you have the power to flick that switch,
to change the train track you’re chugging down
so easily.
one flick.

of course we have free will.
i know any one of the dozens and hundreds and thousands of potentially little choices—
but really, big choices—
can change my whole life.
that’s scary.
that’s staring down into the sea when
you can’t see the ocean floor.
just nothingness.
plunge in.
it’ll be ok. you can’t go too wrong.
you’re living such a blessed life as it is.
but the possibilities are endless and swimming in them is dizzying
i have vertigo
Janet Li
Written by
Janet Li  charleston
(charleston)   
154
 
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