Prose Poetry/Flash Fiction: Dead Sea

For Ben.

And when I woke, I was floating on a bright sea, the thick salt lifting me with strong hands. The dream was clear but whatever reality had been inside it vanished the moment I opened my eyes. The person walking around wore my face and it only alarmed me once the light bulb flickered on. It only alarmed me once I heard your voice and the illusion disintegrated around me, revealing a bright sea, thick salt lifting me with strong hands.

I have been here too long. My eyes are burned, my skin is peeling away. The sun will not kill me, but it will make me suffer. Water, water, all around, and not a drop to drink. And still the salt sea bears me on, still the water buoys me even though it must be so tired of doing so. Even though its arms must be weak from holding me aloft all this way.

I hear your voice all the time. Even when the night is thick with lighted pearls and I should be sleeping. Sleeping on that tireless sea as it pushes me along, along, toward nothing, toward nowhere. But I am safe upon the sea. And the longer I am here, the longer the salt lifts me, unerring, unyielding, the more I learn, the more I realize, that the sea is you, and the arms are yours, and you have been here this whole time. You have been here all along, keeping me afloat, keeping me alive. Keeping me safe, and sane, and whole.

The salted sea buoys me. The sky is alight with stars. I am awake from a terrible dream. And I hear your voice within the calming waves, rocking me back and forth. I hear your voice, and I understand.

I am home.


2 Responses to “Prose Poetry/Flash Fiction: Dead Sea”
  1. Clint says:

    Interesting repetition and thematic devices, very similar to those from ‘Boneyard.’ Darkness and freedom and immobility and relentless repetition . . . They both seem to be about loss and love, too. Beautiful, haunting imagery. Potent, even–in this piece, and ‘Boneyard,’ although the latter is far more active and the former more poetic. Arguably.

    But nice work. I enjoyed it.

    • I really appreciate the comment – it is nice to hear exactly what someone liked about a piece. Allows me to think about the stylistic choices in reference to other pieces as well. Thank you very much!

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