The docks

All I wanted was for you to come to the docks. I was there, listening to the water, but not seeing anything at all, sensing, the way you manage a dark hallway, that there were objects in front of me, behind me, above and below. Were the fish sleeping in reeds knitted together like throw rugs? I dipped a toe in and stirred.

The night was crushed with stars and I was crushed under them. A bright party next door shook the lakehouses with laughter and bass. From the water, their reflection slurred in waves.

How could I feel so alone in such a beautiful place? All I wanted was to talk you into the night; for you to love me when everything in my conscience said you’d fuck me. I wanted you to touch my hair, my fingers, reach into my chest and pull me inside out. I wanted everything from you and of you. When you came to me, it was in my voice – morphing into insecurity. I played with ourselves inside the pit sky.

I knew you’d fallen asleep and weren’t coming despite the honey-light dripping from the wooden walls in your bedroom. I knew you would never give anything up for me over yourself.

I took my clothes off, dropping them on the wooden dock and slowly lowered myself into the water. The cold, the things I couldn’t see terrified me – the slimy reeds wrapping themselves around my calves; the fish, awake then, nipping my dead skin; my body, breasts, sex completely exposed. How far would I have swam into the heart of that lake to drown us?

The single trickle of my arms emerging, submerging in the water was the only thought I cared to acknowledge. Not the sounds, the fears, the drunks, the docks; the water lapping against row boats; you. No – I only heard myself swimming deeper into that endless black heart.

 

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2 Responses to The docks

  1. Angella Lister says:

    this is a poem with grace and muscle. my god, it’s beautiful.

    • rachvb says:

      I needed this today. Thank you, dear Angella. I had a restless night about a week ago and caught this memory. I’m glad I was finally able to give it words. And I’m glad you found they had both grace and muscle. wow. thank you. xo

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