Haul Me Up

try and haul me up why
don't you - can't you see
my body's disappearing, feet
first, then legs, and climbing torso
into deeply sucking mud -
pull me up and out
I'm waving and drowning
cannot see you clearly now
for all the lights are
going out one by one

how quiet the day is, the sun
fingers the wall absently, his
fingers pressing the stone where
rose-gold blooms the blocks
back into sand
and here I stand
at the tideline with my
bare feet scrolling the
gritty water's edge

I feel the pull of
many waters, the purple
seas behind my eyes
have their own drag
and I feel the weight of
water on my toes, enticing me

and as I stand
so am I gone
without a trace I have
ever been, my sad blue eyes
staring out at what
might have been
were I not a tiny mermaid
with her starfish
and her seaweed

	out of water
	out of kilter

swimming against an unknown

on dry land -
the salt flats drown me
in bitterness
and thirst

they say to me stay - it is
worth it, but I see not
the world they see
and curse it
and turn away

only to find there is
nowhere else to go
for life and stepping
only yields a full
circle in half-
light, the arms heavy
the body sodden
the head bowed with woe

they say to me live - be
happy, but I grasp no
joy in my bruised fists
for I miss too much
and gained too little
and am sick with trying

so try and haul me up
why don't you, for my
body's disappearing in the
sucking tide
and I cannot swim, now,
in all my ruin
for I lost my sea legs when I

rose from there

to here

and the sand flats are bitter
and the unrelenting sun
makes me thirst - I am told

I am dust
and to dust I will return

but without one grain
of unsalted water I could drink
I am drowning
with nothing to sustain

for me
and against them

it was over long ago
for my hands are empty now
there is nothing here
and nothing bold
	no brave pavements
	no bright flags
	no girded heart
	no shining mail

I am apart
and unpieced
and nothing now can make me whole

so save me in my
drowning - can my
lungs breathe more air
this element I live in
this stair?
The Golden Fish
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