Along the shore she walks, barefoot with bared teeth—
Shells and wet stones scattered about, a vast array,
But dim eyes gazing intently at the sea.
The tide emerges, white, clasping onto her dark ankles,
Pulling her with pale fingers to come in, to cast away
Thoughts as mad and as violent as the waves.
“Onward,” it beckons, lurid and enchanting.
The water is dark, heaving and brooding ‘gainst the rock,
Moaning a desirous tune in harmony with her heartbeat,
Chasing out the fishermen who’ve gathered by the dock.
Climbing each second with murderous strength,
It crashes and pounds and dances in the heat,
Forgotten, the pretty conches laying by her feet.
“Enter,” it whispers, misty and entrancing.
A tenative toe touches the ocean’s surface;
Little rings spread out from the delicate movement,
But further she goes, swaying body called to some new purpose,
And her skirt billows out, soaked in salt and black mud—
The sky seems to shake, to rumble, with amusement,
And she becomes indistinct, no longer lucent.
“Forget,” it smiles, soothing her panting.
All troubles are lost from the young woman’s face,
Eyelids heavy, lips moist, hands reaching out for atmosphere,
And tremulous mind now devoted to the destined place.
She submerges herself amidst the tall storms,
Eyes full of lust, she says, “I will find myself here.”
Dark temptation had replaced her first fear.
“Be gone!” it growls, finally recanting.
A look of final happiness seizes the poor creature
As the waves begin to tear her apart.
They latch onto each limb, each appendage, each feature,
Consume her with long, blue teeth and a gaping maw.
So lonely was she who thought death was her art;
And so cunning, the sea, who had not a heart.
© Loveviolent — 2018
This poem was inspired by Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, which is one of my all-time favorite books.