Something I Can't Hear

Somewhere far away the sky cries out in thunder.
But here on my porch by the sea
It's nothing more than a distant rumbling
In the belly of God;
A hunger of clouds that stand up
On the horizon
And march across the water like Napolean's army,
Stomping and thrashing the great ocean
So that wave after wave come running to the shore
In an endless stream of horsemen seeking refuge,
Only to crash and collapse upon the sand
One after the other;
Fading into the grain of the earth divided,

And still, the storm approaches.
And there's nothing I can do.
So I wait and I watch
And I feel his breath against my face,
Cool and brave.
His salt licks my skin,
His promise brushes my hair.
His fury drives the wind to touch my cheek
and whisper something I can't hear.

I think he loves me.
I think he comes to see me.
I am young.
I will learn.

I walk out to look for Emma
The sand is cold beneath my feet.
I find her on the other side of the cliffs
Around the bend.
She's standing in the ocean
Watching the storm roll in.
I call out to her again and again
But she doesn't hear me.
I'm going to have to go in after her.

I run into the ocean
Trouncing the waves in an awkward meter of lifeless rhythm.
Emma stands calmly looking out to sea
Tears of mascara strip her face in the wind.
A bloody lipstick slaps her mouth.
Her hospital gown clings to her as if it were permanent,
Flapping violently like a conquering flag.
The ocean tosses up a thousand arms to embrace
The storm that falls across her like a drunken sailor;
His thunder slaps her thighs
His lightning pierces her waters.
They pound me between their hips
And I begin to panic
Knowing their passion will destroy me.

I reach for Emma, screaming for help
But she never sees me.
Her face is strange.
Just before I'm pulled under
I realize
This isn't Emma after all.

It's me.

My scream
Is carried