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Rebecca Jan 2019
The ocean, consume me.
I hear your call to me like a mother cow to her calf,
A low drawling echo that grows with the hour.
Or the calf to its mother,
you call me home
to suckle on my breast where in it my heart beats.
Drum, drum.
Be still the drums.
Laying deep in dark abyss.
The drums, the drums.
I smell the salty air
It haunts my passage, staining my dress
with crusted, crystallised foam.
Will this heart ne'er be clean?
To be filthied by shame, now unworthy to him
by the sea and what it has done to me.
I wait for you.
You growing pains, you. You wisdom teeth pushing through.
The dust settles in my candle light.
The little white flecks fall together like prancing dandelion seeds
as fragile as children who have been wasted in your hands like white gold,
thrown away.
What they could have been had they fallen to my hands.
Rosey and blue-eyed with marjoram soft hair.
So I wait, breath now freezing with the in and out
steadying as the tide rises.
It calls me to consume me.
Dare I step to it? Submerse my feet within the waves.
One more hour, one more day - tick, tock, tick, tock.
But what if this hour he comes my way?
Descending from heaven, knocking at my gate.
The crash of the ocean against my hull.
Wait, wait, for my life and forever, I will wait.
The ocean, consume me.
A response to Sir John Everett Millais's 1851 painting 'Mariana', Inspired by Alfred Tennyson's 1830 poem 'Mariana' "I am aweary, aweary, I would that I were dead!"
Erin C Ott Apr 2018
When it seems all the world wants to sell me on painkillers, you face the troubled of all sorts with a scalpel and a wink. Even when those stitches holding your own spitshined heart together are looking a little iffy.

Since childhood, we’ve floundered like fish out of water both longing for the sea, but with age, I think that you and I have come to view the ocean in very different ways.

What I see as an adventure, you’ve always seen as home.

The sea could never quite mystify someone who’s strived to be more siren than human. No, unlike the flower from which you were named, your real garden patch is present with the planets.

You make me want to be as stalwart as Stonewall, and save my wishing well quarters for the pigs who tried to suss out every non-straight playing broad through her suit clothes, so that on the days where the face of my best friend's assaulter bears down like the man in the moon, she’ll preserve her beautiful, blessed hands by halting her fist before it can hit any wall.

Apparently, you’ve been learning Russian on a whim since age eleven. You love tattoos and art in it's sometimes most tantric forms. The firm and sometimes too-firm handshake between aesthetic and soul, and what, дорогая сестра, is more human than that?

And you called yourself cynical.
Yet when the life of a honeybee means so much in your hands, I can’t understand how you tried to scorn the weight of the world. You found beauty in banana slugs, and I have to believe you do not know your own self.

Seeing you make sense of other people, I now believe that mermaids are incredibly self-conscious, so when we asail our Somali plundered doubloons, blood diamonds, pearls of tortured oysters, and other ill-gotten goods back into the sea, may we feel we’ve done our duty when they see their own reflections for the first time and become narcissists.

Because of you, I tried for the first time to love myself, because like it or not, this is what I’ve got. What we’ve got. The most detached tag team duo the world’s never seen.

But on the day that I finally throw the dragon’s den fortune of our mother back into the mariana trench from which she and the sessions family came, I’ll think back to the time where she said that, as siblings, we’d grow up to be best friends. But let’s face it, we have both lost a lot of best friends, though you are the only one of all those come and gone who’s yet to steer me wrong. Okay, that’s a fat lie, because for a second of my life you convinced me to believe that you are cynical.

Comparing your stride to the rest of the world’s, I will never again judge somebody for the way they walk. Even if they have to drag themselves, kicking and screaming from point A to point B, the last thing a person needs is another stranger stepping on their lifeline.

I hear of everything you're doing, day in and day out, think of all the times this world’s nearly lost you, and I remember the statue in our neighbor’s front lawn. A little girl-an angel- with butterflies landing atop her precious hands. Then I realized that to be an angel statue means you can never reach out for more, and suddenly, I know why you always preferred cyborgs.
With a long overdue dedication to my sister, Lily.

— The End —