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 tightened above
Until your lid on the world was taut
And you were sealed away.
And then you pushed, towards breath’s edge.
Immersed 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 splintering futures
As condensation dripped down the walls,
Like freely abseiling wet spiders
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 from 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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