The Choosing







I am floating

On my back

Eyes to the heavens

Drinking in starlight

Brilliant and blinding

Light drenches my pupils

I am dazzled by loveliness

And I want to reach out

To touch one

The stars are so beautiful and I want to cry

So I half-close my eyelids and tell myself to breathe





Stop thinking


I am floating

Buoyed up on a sea of tears

Generations of them

Mine, not mine, a sea of tears

My face is dry

Bathed in the stillness

Of warm night air

But my back is soaked

By seawater that stings the cuts

Cuts of past mistakes

And wounds from words,

Words whispered

Words screamed

Words to heal

And to slice


Mine, not mine, endless words

The water stings my back

These wounds that never heal

If I am silent, still

Will they heal?

I can feel something

I press my lips together to keeps the noise inside me

I tell myself to breath





Stop thinking


I am drifting

I can hardly tell the difference anymore

Between the sea and the sky

Between my tears, other’s tears

Between despair and laughter

Between life and death

Stop thinking




I try to remember

Before I came here

To this numbness,

This limbo,

This purgatory,

Was I a creature of the air?

Was I a creature of the sea?

Had I wings like Icarus,

Or fins like a siren?

Did I glide effortlessly?

Stare at the sun?

Dive into the sea’s trenches?

Dance with the kelp and the eels?

… Did I sing?


I try to remember






I can’t conjure the memories



I traded my fins, my feathers for a wish

A desperate, foolish wish

I asked for relief from the nauseating ride I was on

Happiness’ blinding sudden white light after days in the dark

Sadness’ suffocating, cold night once my limbs grew used to warmth

I begged for stillness


To be numb


So I am rigid

Like driftwood

Sunbleached and waterlogged

Will I die like this?

In between

So distant from the stars

Toes tickled by sharks

Surrounded by life

With no life of my own

Just breath, stop thinking

That voice

I recognize it now

It is not my own

It is the voice of some wingless, finless, dying creature

Who was so scared of drowning in a sea of tears that she decided to stop breathing altogether.


Suddenly I am sinking

Lower, lower still

Water touches my forehead

My eyelashes

My nose

I open my parched lips

And drink it in

It stings my throat and fills my belly

Its weight pulls me under

Down, down

Until I am enrobed in the blackness below


I see shapes emerge before me




They pull me deeper still and I smile


I see

How dark it is down here

It’s beautiful, glorious

I see

Eyes open

And in that vast expanse

Of night

Tangible and thick

I can feel warmth caress me

For the first time in a long time

And even through thousands of meters of pitch-black sea

Atmospheres of pressure

Salt stinging my eyes

I can see the stars twinkling above

Yes, I can touch them



Because I don’t need a stranger to remind me to breathe anymore

Because I am not just existing

No, I am alive


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One thought on “The Choosing

  1. Dear Lauryn

    I reallly loved this piece the first few sentences drew me in, the imagery was beautiful and it was something that drew me in. I loved how I could picture the girl you were talking about as almost anything yet something so very real and corporeal, something that was striking but not anymore, It was real how the loss felt and I wondered why she would choose such a thing, what or who made her want to run from her feelings and wish to never feel again.

    If I was to improve something here I would say that perhaps show don’t tell so much, and thats like easy to say but harder to actually implement, like how would one show the thought process of something that seems to be dying? Another thing though would be to have better transitions I guess? like there seem to be a lot of jumping (more like hopping though) and its a bit confusing almost lost me there a few times

    other than that I really loved this piece, it sparked my imagination and it felt almost real, which is nice and not easily done.

    Sincerely, Iqra

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