Updated: Dec 31, 2020
I’m across from you, you across from me, so wake up now; let us dive right into this, shall we?
Let’s start from the beginning, please—When you dipped your toes in me the first time, did you think I was too cold? Perhaps too close for comfort? When you swam against my tides, did you know I’d pull you under?
Oh, come on, is it too much to ask for some recognition, a fragment of your attention? A mere pebble of a throw? Won’t you smile for me, now that the whole expanse of the sky can see? God, with those pretty teeth, can you even blame me?
When you chose not to bring me to the surface, I ask why would I have done it for you? How could I have saved you? Did you expect me to do all your dirty work? Is that it? All the dirty work of coming clean, though you knew you were in far too deep? Did you feel my pressure pulling on your limbs? Did you feel me in your bones when the fear bit through your skin?
Do you wish you would have written to me, when you were still wide-eyed and far from the shore? To send a message in a bottle for my ice blue eyes to read? When you look back on all the things you wish you would’ve said, do I come to mind? Did you stutter when you got to the good part? Do the words escape you now?
Do you think you were destined to die in the shadows of the current? When you swam against my tides, are you surprised I did it this time? If I meant to scare you, why would I cut your cries short of screams? If you had just faced me sooner, you wouldn’t be wondering how could you? But isn’t it wonderful not having to worry anymore? Now that you're here, what else can we do together? How else can we be complete?
When you stared at your reflection in the sea, why did you look right over me? If I were more transparent, would you have even approached me? I proved you right, right? No, actually, I proved you wrong, right? I’m sure you’re asking how can I speak with no breath? It’s a good thing I stole yours, isn’t it? As I fished from your tongue, I wondered, why did you have to make it so easy?
But let it be known I am not the enemy, you see? Did you forget that you’re the one who floated on into here all on your own? Is it finally sinking in? Now, who was it who brought with them the storm? It was you, you with the salt-water-stained cheeks, gasping for air in a cool breeze, stirring the sea from miles and miles away, the waves of why, why, why—
Sorry, what is that now? You wonder what’s beneath me? Maybe just a couple stings, some spikes, a few shocks of electricity? What if I told you there’s nothing but a racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, and the unbelievable ability to overthink? I guess we’re pretty damn similar, aren’t we?
Anxiety is the question mark in the ocean of perceived reality. So there’s your answer for you; feel free to never leave. Absolutely nothing is beneath me.
Molly A. Green is a sophomore at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, Pennsylvania. She is a lover of words, metaphors, and small details. Her work has been recognized by the Lake Effect National High School Poetry Competition. She has been published in the literary magazines The Raven Review, The WEIGHT Journal, and Crêpe and Penn. Her interests include yoga, running, scrapbooking, portrait drawing, piano, crystal collecting, and all things magical.
Helen Liu is a seventeen-year-old Chinese-American from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. When she isn't swamped in schoolwork, she likes writing late into the night, playing piano, trying her best at watercolor, and spending time with friends. Also, at any given time, it's more likely she's listening to music than not. Though her stories and poems are often focused on her personal passions and struggles, she also takes inspiration from her favorite pieces of literature and important current issues.