Kadalamma

//mother sea//

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I like water better than I’ve liked to exist.
Anger seems a faraway thing amidst the gentle coaxing of my baby blue basin
the cool of this liquid satin sliding across my wrists, running down my elbows
and I can’t even find it in myself to be annoyed at the now damp sleeves I lug around all evening.

I don’t like a soaked hem.

Until its pouring and almost night-time and my best friend’s taxi leaves without her
for the second time in 6 minutes
and we stand in the deluge–a little stunned–mostly trying not to laugh at ourselves
and the umbrella is useless anyway and the water has ascended up to my knees
and I’m cold and we’re laughing and I relive that moment every time my pants trail across a puddle.

In the second grade, we learn about tributaries for the first time
and its strange to think that I’d never thought about where a river comes from or how that brook we caught tiny, tiny fish in with my father’s handkerchief could drown my entire father if he’d waded a little further or how each tributary pierced a different mountain, smoothened a different rock, watered a different country to then roll and dance and skip over and into each other into the great blue.

And now,
every time I see a girl tug down her shirt,
walk just a little bit quicker on the other side of the street
make herself impossibly smaller on the overcrowded bus
I think of broken nails;
of all of us rolling and stumbling and skipping over and into twigs and hard earth, chasing sunsets

until even the sun proves no reprieve–grabby hands don’t shy away from a silly thing as sunlight, or stupid words like ‘no’ or ‘stop’ or ‘please’ and how I’d like for this to be a lesson in a textbook.

Far away and neat,
or theoretical,
or past history.

Humans have gone to the moon and back, and I can’t go to class without my mother warning me against wandering hands on the bus.
A girl cannot be 12 years old without filth seeping into every dress she thought she liked
–or 8 years old or 18 or 59 or dying.

An eternity of trying to fit inside your ribs, in the hopes that we might go unnoticed,
fall through the cracks,
seep into the earth,
evaporate into the sky,
rain down over glittering blue. Far, far away from those sharp rocks
we spent entire lifetimes trying to smoothen.

settling deeper and deeper and farther and farther
dancing in every dress and jean jacket you made us despise,
lipstick darker than the blood on your hands,
skin adorned with only the darling bruises we acquire from living,
singing,
and waiting
for your corpses.

 

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