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    a storm-wrought sea

    by Jessica Soffian

     

    so this is how it lands
    when we dare to hope too high, stretch too far upwards, and forget to bend our knees when we land
    this is how we fall

    there is a man
    or a woman
    or many men or many women and every color in between
    they are black and white and yellow and red
    they are pink and brown, they are flush with passion
    their voices are a tidal wave
    rushing, tumultuous, and
    when matched with an opposing wave,
    inconsequential.

    there are footsteps in the sand
    they step forward even as they are washed away
    they press on against the rain and the waves and the howling, brutal wind
    as a great crab lifts his shell above the ocean, his claws waving about as he declares

    none shall pass on my shore. i am the king
    the gulls pelt him though his skin is thick
    and the small, strong pipers scurry past, unseen

    this is not a dream
    this is a reality where nightmares can come true
    where hundreds of thousands of hermit crabs can stick their claws out and scream
    without ever removing their heads from their shells
    where the free-swimming fish are battered back by the tide, swept by the wave that leaves in its wake nothing but claw-clacking silence

    they’re not gone
    they hide behind the rocks, silent and waiting for the storm 

    this is a world where the waves can strike
    where the king crab can wave and scream
    but this is also a world where the great blue whale rises above the ocean and casts her upon the pipers and sings a song for the first time
    the song that has been growing and changing and growing
    and the pipers sing back in their small, chirping voices
    and they wait

    now is not forever

    and so we hold on. 


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