A little piece of the 100+ pages I have, written on broken parchment.
The Sea’s Voice
It is awful, feeling so full, feeling as if you carry life on your hips, your hands, your being. Yes, I move, the fate inside of me spreads, tearing lovers apart, whispering promises to sailors without real intention. It is my way, and I escape the lines of land as if in disapproval; no man can have me, no touch, no taste.
If I move an inch, the world moves with me.
At one time, I felt as if the sun would forsake my whole body, that I would exist only in the books of men—though they, too, would exist only in history without me. I feared that in n a minute of heat I would simply evaporate and exist no more. God may be a man, but I, a nymph of the sea, aged in centuries, am a woman. At night, when sleep falls short, I feel the life swimming and dying inside my veins. Oh, to sleep no more.
One of fifty, I am one of fifty, sleeping inside a silvery cave, escaping the jagged stone of the walls of men and gods. I watch the ships on the ocean from underneath, always from below, and see it pass, see what the wood will become as it sinks farther into the ocean, as I pull it towards my body, needing company. I cannot help what I do, my need for the company of unconscious men, and as I pray for storms I often cry, knowing that when the gods listen, they listen to us below more than they listen to the humans above.
The morning is cold, and I shiver all night until the sun emerges once again. I am a mother, and I protect the life within me, the ever-renewed life of populations of fish and weeds. No matter the wetness I feel, the depths of my sadness, I still cannot move, cannot change. I control the things within me, and I wait to be used by the animals, emptied. My lovers have always left me, and I know now that there is no way to make them stay. Like many beings, I feel I was born in the wrong body.
In the moments where I feel helpless, without control, my body stretches, and without intent, I create waves larger than the walls of Jericho, using the sea to bury men in its cells, forgetting to apologize. This sadness, this urge to end life is only temporary, until the next time I feel it, until I settle into depression, once again. I feel loneliness. I feel shame. The fear that all men feel feeds my taste for the human soul, and I often wish I were married, asleep with another under the blankets of waves that move back and forth, slowly, with intent.
But death is not always such an easy thing.
I remember one morning, one day of certain death upon my surface. In December, when the light was low for miles, and I swore that I could see for only hours at a time, I decided to sleep. But I am plagued with unpleasant dreams, and as I tossed and turned from unfortunate thoughts, I threw men through the waves, asking that they hang on for minutes before giving in. My heart often feels for the men I hurt, and I know, as they do, that one cannot change oneself on a whim, and that the water is dangerous.
Yes, that night, the waves pushed on, folding over the other in a mixture of discontent and intention. I pulled my head up farther; attempting to see the surface, I cried out could not make my way above. As my voice moved through the water like light, with a slow pause then a jump, I saw the boat above bend and split. The crack widened, and I could feel my body moving upward, until the current pulled me into the slit between the planks. I floated inside the dying boat, while the men screamed inside. They can predict their own deaths, as I can predict that after their passing I will feel sadness for moments at a time, before sleeping once again. It is a duty, this regulation of the sea, this observation of the men above, and I promise the gods my help in balancing life and death; heaven, hell, and earth.
I sat inside the boat for minutes, hoping that the men would give up easily their right to live, accept that they would simply dissipate into water molecules, join me knee deep in the salty waves. One man, suspended in what seemed like purgatory, ran back and forth on the deck, the wetness spreading up and down his clothes, until he was as soaked as the sea itself. I could not help him.
What was minutes seemed like hours as the boat surrendered itself to the ocean. Some of the men jumped prematurely with that familiar insight of impending tragedy. All I could do was watch the harm I had caused, the necessary damage. I heard the screams of sullen wives, their children asleep until the next morning without their fathers’ warm caresses. The night was almost breaking into pieces, into a mosaic of moon dust and small stars. My eyes became heavy with the evening tide, then closed.
I worked to my spot underneath, and I watched the lifeless bodies on the surface. They moved with the tide, and I waited for them to sink, to come with me to the bottom, a settled resting place. The first man had an expression of contentment on his face as he slide past me, and I watched the men, one by one, fall down into the deep. The procession kept me sane and having finished my duty, I followed the last one down, pulling the boat with my hands, sacrificing a little more to the gods that I at once despised, and then loved.