hot tears spring out, teasing
peeling skin with the broken promise of cooling
as she waits
to be pumped full of salty brine
and then discarded, debris
carried by the waves until she
washes up on some strange, sunbaked shore, a
sea-scratched corpse, the
refuse of murder, or perhaps,
suicide

she bobs up
and down, violently
tossed by the waves, frantically
snatching rapid half-breaths-half-gulps-of-ocean before she’s
plunged ten feet
under, then
propelled back up, an insignificant
buoy caught in a
cyclone’s raging passion. his arms
grasp at her as
forcefully as a prayer expands out against
her chest, calling
for ocean to swallow the
naked groans and shrieks yanked
out into the unforgiving air—
each scream,
a plea that she might
die this moment, escape
the body convulsing and writhing,
possessed

that she might
be reincarnated as water,
formless,
shapeless,
unable to be pinned down. that she might
pool out under the sweaty puddles of sheets, spill
over the side of the bed onto the
hardwood floor, and
evaporate before he could
lap her up with his sandpaper tongue

let dehydration burn his throat

but she is trapped inside the
flesh licked by the sun’s
fiery rays, repeatedly stung
with a glowing iron poker. her
body is rocking, creaking in a
summer’s monsoon, and finally heaved
up in one last, violent toss and
dashed against the rocks, sprayed
with salty sea-foam drying to
crust on her battered hull

abandoned, but not allowed the
dignity to sink, be buried in the
blackest, coldest ocean depths,
hidden from the faintest beam of light
by at least a thousand leagues

Sandra Reynolds

Sandra Reynolds

Editor at NY Literary Magazine
Sandra earned her B.A. in English. She works part-time as a freelance writer and proofreader. Sandra was born in Massachusetts and currently resides in NYC with her fiance and their adorable pug.
Sandra Reynolds