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Sea, Swallow Me

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

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


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


I sink into the depths of my sea


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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