My Drooling, Salty Love
I am in love with a drowned man.
His body is green, and slick with grit; his eyes have clouded and become sea-foam beneath the lids.
And yet, I still take these familiar tracks, down to the sand, and into his arms.
I met him, in the early, foggy night. Just as the sun had kissed us chastely goodbye, and tucked itself into bed; I was moving along the shore of the waters that moved in my own back yard. It purred at the barnacle’d and blue’d wood of my patio stairs, calling to me, and I went behind the back of the sun, and into the water.
And as I swam, his fingers grazed my shins, up to my knees, and when I felt the palms of a man against my thighs I wasn’t afraid. Maybe it was death, coddling me down to the abyss; amongst all the other abused, neglected women, down to rot and let my body become the fatty scum that collected on the water’s surface in the hot, hot summers. In my depression, knowing what was to come: that no one would truly see the fruits of my love- now squashed and leaking- the bruised peach that was my heart, I slipped my head beneath the surface. His hands moved to my hips, and when I opened my eyes, despite the sting of the water, and the bleary green before me, I saw him.
My drowned, adoring love. With his blackened, suffocated lips, his grey touch. When I kiss him, he drools seawater and dainty fish into my mouth; when we embrace he gurgles and bubbles.
Pulling me deeper, and further into the dark- the sun gone from the sky, there is pitch black above and below my treading feet. My clothes unwind themselves by the thread, as the fish eat away at me easy and slow. There is a colony of snails pooling and producing at my heel, no shoe could compare to the shells and families living between my bones now, in the layers of my muscle, eating the skin away. Flakes of me, amongst the water, and my gurgling lover. Whose hands are big, and the hollow in his chest is bigger. His physical heart may be liquid, and leaky, but he has love behind his smile. His teeth still shine and hold in place, despite the algae making its home in his gums. He can still kiss at my neck, and find comfort shooing away the eels who have burrowed into my ribs. We sink, and he loves me. We are kissing and flaking away; sighing and shuddering when the sea pushes our bodies far, far away. We move until we cannot, but we never stray too far from each other; soon our minds will drift, but the body can stay intertwined, and our hands are in the other’s hair. He has palmed at my breasts and slid his fingers between my legs, and I have stayed wrapped around the body that is slowly dusting away, until we are no more but torsos floating together. Until we are lips, then hands, then bones, then scum.
And I am in love with the bubbles, because he is there, floating inside.