I started out by throwing him into the ocean
It was easier that way, than
To stay, loving, not knowing, day by day.

I had to, I had to throw him away
But I can’t be sure he’s gone
As I stand on the shore not looking
Away and beyond.

Once, too, I had wanted
To give myself to the waves
Returning to the water, the comforter
As if I were coming home, into its embrace.

Perhaps it should have been me and not him
I feel it with every inch
I must go into the water, filling my pockets with stones.

I ache to feel the cool oblivion
Unfold around me
Here is absolution, as I drift down beneath the waves.

The cold bitter wind stings me
Licking its salty tongue on my cold bare skin
The same skin that itches, itches for oblivion.

And yet I threw him into the water
And I stay by the shore
Hoping that it would take me instead, from this life I abhor.

How can I want to die and yet wish to live?
And yet, here, I feel so much, the rush of the wind
The screech of the gull, and the sea, the sea fills me with a kind of dreadful awe.

That is why I came here,
To stare at the waves,
And wonder, as my feet start to walk, inspired by a kind of madness
Closer, down to the shore.

I will not, I cannot, I must not,
For I threw him away there
If I am to exist I must be
Nobody else’s
Just me and the wild vast sea.

And so the sea remains
Cleaving through my tortured thoughts.
I will not go into the water,
No, I think not today,
For I threw him there, into the water
And there he shall remain.

Rose Staveley-Wadham