Two years ago
I stood on a fiber glass cliff
and wondered

It’s the slow inhalation of water
the build up of fluid in your lungs
the flood that creeps up your ankles
and the ocean that sinks your bones

When I dream I hold a shell to my ear
the sound gives me nightmares

my heart is an Italian city
slowly submerging
in its own sewage –
what good is the strength of my foundations
when the waves try to swallow me whole?

a bathtub is a burial at sea
only without the mermaids

When I recognize the omens
and hear the raindrops for what they are
it’s already too late for sandbags
I can’t remember what dry feet were like

I toss white coins in my well for luck
and pretend not to hear them shatter

I stand on a fiber glass cliff
and wonder where the water goes

© chris DINGLEY 2014
first performed for Words To Live By, Ottawa


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