14: Oct 2016 #14 - Underwater Thing

Authored by Joyce Nancy

Underwater Thing

by Joyce Nancy

Cars buzz down the block & I pray they will not stop in front of my home.
Yellow jackets suck at my ankles; let them do their thing.
Last night I was back in that basement peopled with livestock,
horses in the dark, my child sick on a bed in the corner, dogs circling.

I consider the carbohydrate content of everything I eat then eat it anyway,
measuring the pleasures I am allotted, the space I am allowed to take up.
My voice is hushed, afraid to draw attention to its own noise.
A feeling of fullness, of tightening. I do not open my lungs to the world.

At every moment I am aware of the imminence of my own death.
I imagine graphic car crashes, vehicles jumping the barrier,
then the impact, the crunch & drag of metal on metal.
I am hungry for a thing I have not found yet, bodies & landscapes untraversed.  

I am an expert at waiting.
Some things I have waited for for years & know I will never have.
I fear domesticity, housewares, shopping for bedspreads & curtains.
Decorative pillows. The emptiness of objects.

At night, images without context: ceilings, inner eyelids, terrible palms & fingers.
I am still a child wandering an unfamiliar planet, knowing that help never comes.
Staring for hours. Watching mold grow on windowsills & radiators.
Writing own my name in the fog on bathroom mirrors.

I live in the liminal space between realities, holding my breath, all past & no future.
Looking to lose myself in the present of someone else’s body, someone else’s story,
infinitely more interesting than my own. I want to meld our histories
& choose only the good in all of them. Sometimes there is so little.

This emptiness. The void in me is the ocean rushing in my ears.
The lull of waves, in & out forever, a safe but unforgiving home.
I dive down & look up through the murk. Underwater thing without gills.
Always drowning myself back into my own life.