When things break apart, you feel this salty undercurrent sweep in, lifting your warm home boat up and out over you, slowly carrying it adrift, dissecting it stick by stick. No longer yours, perhaps never was. And there you are– exposed, anxious, thrashing for its familiar refuge.

Microbes and neurons enveloping you– firing and burning, swimming and filling, every damned space. Like they’d been waiting all along. Demanding an answer to this question, relentlessly imploring a decision only you must make as the rest of the world goes on whirling and walking, and doing.

Nothing and everything.

And you, desperate, drawing your boat back in these hot waves of want.

And there’s that question again– begging, relentless. But you can’t go now. Not now.

So you shrug it away, smush all the burning and pleading down, down, down into that safe space behind your rib cage near your backbone with all the other things, where it can bear the weight of it.

And sweep the floor, call a friend, walk the river…

Burn and rage– again and again and again.

Sweep. Call. Walk.

But it always comes back– nudging, waiting, wondering if you’re ready yet, until at last, in the home fires of fall, you give in.

Okay, okay, okay, you whisper.

I’ll carry this now– body soaked and spent, letting the dark salty wave of it lap against me, allow it to burn and whip and soothe the unrelenting ache in my bow. Watch as it devours the deck, moving with it, holding the storm of her so gentle in my hips, rolling the gross guilt of it into the softest spaces, and somehow, somehow, SOMEHOW lifting myself up and over the weight of it, of my own self, like a prayer.

Like my very own prayer…

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