Where I Remain

When I drowned at the beach as a child, I tried to scream underwater.

Bubbles captured the sound and carried it away to the thin sheet of surface

Reaching for the reflection of my mother, beyond my grasp

And I think that I never left that sunken place…


The voices here are also dull and distant

Filtering through my mind like two televisions playing at once.

How do I smother the fire in my lungs

when it was made by water?

There is a medicine to ease my pain,

but they say it takes two months of trial and error to work.

Surely by then the current will carry my form away

Like another plastic bag caught in the flow.


The woman with ash cheeks drinks her Starbucks from the bin

She smiles to an unseen friend on a patch of grass while her toes appear to have grown like foxgloves through the top of her old leather boots.

And I think she is the definition of free.

But I cannot sleep on scratchy blankets from disciples under the littered passes

So I decide that I must stay here, in my sunken place.

My neck cracks in a contorted sigh at the memory of my eyes opening, the sun on Mama’s face

She said, “We thought we lost you!”

But doesn’t she know, that I never left that beach?

My scream is carried on a foamy bubble along waves of melancholy

Crossing the bar of my disease

Over the Ocean of blues and blacks, past the ship with sails twisted

To a place just out of reach of the Lighthouse’s illuminating kiss.

And it is there, I remain.


©2019 M.J. Hambly, All Rights Reserved

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