The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing,
whispering, clamoring, murmuring…
-Kate Chopin, The Awakening
See me disrobe & wade into the water,
feet sinking into the white sand, skin
horripilating from the sea breeze as I submerge.
Because what lies beyond this shore
is something better, maybe. Because
there is nothing left for me here, nothing
I can bear. Because all I see are birds
with broken wings, shackled
to the shore. I swim out, treading
toward the waves breaking further
than the eye can see. The sea is seductive,
the way it can swallow us whole.
So swallow me. Take me somewhere
where I can be free, where I can be
touched without turning whale-like,
without the blood of my body staining
the bedsheets. No hope here. I kick
harder. Scissor my legs, arms pulling
saltwater. Inhale the scent, swish the sea-
water, swallow it. Sea, you speak
to me, speak to my soul. Let me be
free. Swallow me whole.
Despy Boutris‘s writing has been published or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, American Literary Review, Southern Indiana Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston, works as Assistant Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of The West Review.