Almost Paradise

poetry

“You’ve come so far,” you whispered
as you wrapped me in warm arms
robbing all my breath from me

“You know I can’t come with you.”
I felt you say in to my chest,
my arms finally overlapping yours

“I swear you’ll see me again.”
you crackled, tightening your hold
even as you began to fade away

You took the light when you left;
With hands and knees I found the cave floor
and laid my tears there in the darkness

Descent

poetry

From the brow we point—
‘Aye, they’s many a sea monster in the deep,’ we say.
Waves loll and rear-end one another.
‘Got to keep a wary eye out,’ we acknowledge, ‘they there.’

From cabin we clink beverages,
Jangling prisms refracting in the light.
Drinking down and never knowing until we go down.
Gazing between bars and goggles, our self-imposed captivity
Descends.

Down, the water swarming our feet.
Down, the green hues grow darker.
Down, the shattered light suffocating.
Down, the fading briny hull forename—Bliss.
And we are swallowed.

There are no more intermittent fins to marvel at.
No glimpses of accusation to position our supple fingers.
Consumed by teeth of an insatiable, blood lusting hunger.
Surrounded by sharks, swirling in a spectacle of slaughter.
Engulfed in a liquid grave, should we have stayed any longer.

And upon reemerging—gasping not for air,
But release from this elevator into a living hell.
‘They is monsters down there’ we say,
But it’s different this time.
‘Almost got me, almost plunged.’
Fins carve the waterline like serrated knives.
‘Them poor souls. You’d never know they was like that.’