You are like the shoreline.
I may be the ocean.
I am endless, I have unknown depths, I swallow ships, I give birth to monsters, I am where all the angels disappear — but when I break, I’m where you are. Every time I end, there you are. I wonder if you try to be careful.
I’m tempted to write you off as a pipe dream, a one off on someone else’s sheets, the sight of vaporizing asphalt, right after rain, close to my face. As bruises on my neck, purple stories I forget where they begin. I forgot where I began. Even I cannot dream the same dream for ten years straight.
What is a dream really? What have I made it out to be? Was it not citadels and glass walled cities, faceless monsters, a break from bad habits? It is a gloved hand and the armor of silence. A lost boy, another lost boy, another lost boy and they all have your face.
I dream often that I am walking on the shoreline and I feel something underneath my feet. In that moment, the breath of my whole being is concentrated on the soles of my feet, where the sea glass sinks in. I am sure it must have been blue once, before it took shelter in my flesh.
I keep bleeding into the ocean. The sharks snap their hungry jaws, and I never take the glass out.
Are you being careful?
There’s no skirting around for me anymore, there never was. I come to the shore, my greedy arms, they grab as much of you as I can take. I leave behind the salt that stings my bloodied feet in my dreams and I hope you think of me.
You soldier on, and I flood you over and again, hold me back so the rest of the world never drowns.
I hope you are being careful, I breathe in mouthfuls of you.
You hold me in your palms, I slip through the cracks of the cage your fingers make, I hope you are being careful, I am restrained by your permission to swallow you instead of everybody else.
I hope you are being careful.
Because the ocean is ravenous, it wants to have the world in its stomach. It is hungry for the shoreline, for the moon. I hope you are being careful.
This story is written by Tabeya A. Azdasih.