Jessica C

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I’ve tried so many times to stop remembering
but every time
I stand still
all I see is an ocean of your blue
and I start to sink
with the disappointment wrapping around me tighter
than you ever did
and everything that was
or was supposed to be
tangles around my feet
where the beginning is indistinguishable
from the end

I’ve tried so many times to push to the surface
willing myself
to try to imagine what the breeze would feel like
gently rushing through my hair
or feel the sun restoring a warm glow to my face
but when I look below again
— even if just for one shaky glance —
to the mess beneath me
I willingly let myself

Today there is some resolve
as I float down
and let myself fully enter the depths
for the first time.
it is darker than I realized...
it is twisted.
it is lonely.
and it is mine

so I do the only thing I know to do
and plunge my hand down
to the first thing my fingers can grasp
gently tugging and pulling each individual
feeling the different the knots
prying them apart with shaky fingers
touching where bumpy meets smooth and
repeats again
taking time to notice the different hues
where dark green slips into pale
and gently fuses together

And when I am done
when I have reached the end
I have acknowledged each inch
of what has held me down.
I have seen and felt it all
and now I watch it coiled neatly below my feet
resting peacefully on the ocean floor —
no longer encircling any part of myself

how much smaller it all seems now —
less formidable.
I hear my own laughter at my slowness
in not realizing sooner
what I let seem covered and overshadowed
from this one part of the expanse,
because there is so much more
that I failed to acclaim —
the other surfaces
and colors
and textures
to see
to feel
and to know

if I look around, I see it all together
the coils I choose to leave behind
the colors I am just beginning to see
even what remains to be plucked
or untangled
each fragment is separate, remaining its own part
and yet
they have created a swirling, homogenous collection
that is beautiful
and that is mine
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