That night by the ocean I stood outside and wept,
For the impermanence of the waves washing against the sand
And the fleeting silver in the sky,
Salt water stinging my bruised and bloodied feet
And pricking at my scraped, raw knees,
As if to push under my skin and erode the sugary fear lacing my bones.
That night by the ocean I stood with my back to the city lights,
On my own small island in the middle of a crashing, roaring mass of humanity.
The water rushed in and tugged at my toes,
Seeking to overpower the strength of my sadness and the subtle slip of consciousness.
When the clock struck midnight I let it pull me under, gasping one last time
And disappearing under a body so vast, so capable of smothering everything but heaven,
Which already had a firm grasp on my almost-arrested heart,
Still rooted beneath a grave of sorrow.
That night by the ocean I stood in the rising tide,
Contemplating dancing over the waves and slipping away from my cage made of iron.
Soaked from head to toe, I dug my way free of my earth-breathing burial,
Splintered and scratched fingers slowly healing, blood melting into the sea.
I neither froze nor burned nor drowned, shock and a cry twined together over my head,
As if I had never expected to be alive again.
That night by the ocean I stood, new,
Dripping diamonds cast from the new skeleton under my skin,
And walked back onto the rough pavement, grounding, solidifying again.
And the earth threatened to shake me, but found me burning too hot
And singing too softly to overpower.
I found myself becoming strong again,
Strong enough to live,
That night, standing under the ocean waves.