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Horizon Lines, Horizon Lies

I liked to think we were the horizon where the sun meets the sea / but I’m drowning and evaporating in equal measure now from your heat and the fact that perhaps, I am out of my own depth / I thought I could handle this / I thought I could bridge the gap but instead I became a bridge between two planes of existence that could never collide./  Linear perspective has made a liar out of me, because the sun will forever sit parallel to the sea, never touching it and forever just / hovering above it./  And how can there be a we when you are intact and I am splitting at the seas? / Swimmer’s Ear and sunburn swish around my skin, and your thin voice shakes me like a seismic tsunami / you will soon make a hurricane out of me / ebb and flow, ebb and flow, I long to ebb and flow and let this all go but all I want to do is spiral into a cyclone / my eyes are locked upon that hypocritical horizon; you’ve taught me that seeing is not, in fact, believing / and we are not coexisting so much as I am coalescing with the sea foam around me, wrapping my arms in algae and swimming with the fish that surround me / I’ve buried myself in the frigid waters and built a haven in my shipwrecked mind, and I swallowed water until I learned to breathe it, because the saltwater was a refreshment compared to your sunlit resentment / I prefer the circling sharks to your volatile helium heart / as our—as my—futile bridge crumbles / I know the ocean will shield me but I hope you won’t explode and wreathe the world in heat / a lesson you never learned and a lesson I could never teach: collateral damage isn’t a love language / maybe you’ll learn it as I leave.


~ Maaheen Shaikh `25

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