Underwater

I caught you once, trying to dissolve.
The water cupping you with candlelight
And the flames flickering incantations.
You punctured a quiet ring of shadows
As a dwindling in the dark.

You had sunk yourself in the bathtub;
Trying to escape. Kicking below the surface
And shaping the sinless fluid around you
As your last compromise: an urban night-lake.
You bathed between the porcelain lips
And bubbled for rebirth.

The surface tightening above
Until your lid on the world was taut
And you were fully sealed away.
And then you pushed, towards breath’s edge.
Leaden, immersed, deep
In a warm vat of underworld.
Disappearing into pale ripples
With your eyes closed.
I watched your hair wave goodbyes,

While the tiles echoed like sirens.
And I stood there, almost alone,
In that airlock of cascading waterdrops,
Scrutinised by parallel futures;
Condensation dripping down the walls
Like freely abseiling wet spiders,
Staring with refracted hyena-eyes.
Each enclosing droplet, a tear
Brimming with imperatives.

You needed me to embody saviours
With my trembling hands –
But you were womb-smothered,
Submerged, dulling heartbeats, lost,
Weeping naked-open like your wrists,
And my body was a still purgatory,
Hearing the muted thuds reverberating upwards

While you waited; underwater, urging
For me to become the same shade of void
So I could join you in the below
And we could dissolve and emerge together.

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