Sea, Swallow Me

Updated: Jan 30

Writing by Justine White. Illustration by Annie Whiteson


cw: suicide, OCD, depression







On an autumn day I swim

until an undercurrent

drags me upon a whim

I yield myself, this is recurrent


It brings me bottles

corks sealed shut, long ago

age shows through their deep green mottle

a feeling in my gut, I’m in undertow


To resist opening them

is to delay the inevitable

to self-suffering, I self-condemn

a personal fable


I twist the cork, and

past traumas sing out

I grow frustrated, and shameful

through these bouts


If sirens sing

to be irresistible

then what about

my own song?


A fog rolls across my mind

off a sea of thoughts, into the air

clouded by memories, I swim faster

attempting to escape my despair


The thoughts become intrusive

they ignite

and do a dance like flames

setting my mind alight


until


I become burnt-out

my sea swallowing me

whole, all-out

It engulfs me

controls my every being

I forget to breathe

for the time being

as I silently, seethe


Paralysed

I sink into the depths of my sea

Unconscious

my thoughts can’t bother me


Awake again, I gasp

asphyxia settles in

my thoughts bite like an asp

their poison floods back within


I sob

and wonder, if a fish will bob

for my tears

as if they preferred apples

over the worms…absurd


I’d rather drown

than swim back ashore

no one will have ever known

I rest self-assured



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