the in between

Your old life
sinks in your belly,
a forgotten ship,
being eaten alive
by the guts that used to
hold it up.
The captain doesn’t know
he’s a ghost now.
The captain doesn’t know
he’s a stranger now.
His strength still turns the wheel,
his voice still shouts the orders,
and your brain still,
every so often,
falls in line.

Bits of treasure and trash
float up into your heart.
Sometimes it’s rich.
Sometime it feels like
everything is sinking
all over again,
and your guts turn to acid,
and your air turns to water,
and you choke
and you break apart.

You haven’t found a new compass yet,
a new flag to fly.
How can you when you still dream
of dancing on the decks
of a drowned life?
When you pay for your new life
with gold from your old?

The captain shouts orders,
and you fall in line,
knowing his dead eyes cannot see
the horizon,
cannot read the map,
but at least his guts
are not filled with yesterday.
At least his guts
are not filled with butterflies
that are silly enough to try to fly
underwater.

You splash and you spin,
you sink and you swim.

You won’t get
your old life back,
but you don’t get to have
a new one,
either.

(Thanks to David Ellis for reminding me that NaPoWriMo is happening!)

20 Comments

    1. Thank you, Sarina! Most days I feel like I should just stick to regular blogging and skip the whole poetry thing, but it’s such an attractive medium to me. 🙂 Thank you for reading.

      Like

  1. “I will go down with this ship
    And I won’t put my hands up in surrender
    There will be no white flag above my door;
    I’m in love, and always will be.”

    Who says butterflies can’t fly underwater?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Hehehe that would be amazing. Magical creatures. You may yet be the next Newt Scamander…😉
        (For real though, there are some sea critters that look very like swimming butterflies but I’m pretty sure they’re fancy worms!!)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Avast! You’ve seized the pirate captain theme right by the short and curlies here. Bits of treasure and trash float up into your heart is a magnificent line, I feel like this accurately describes the pain and pleasures of life and how we have to deal with the trash that can harm us but get rewarded with the treasure that we try to give back out to others. Happy to have inspired you to write this via the Spring magic of NaPoWriMo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, David. Treasure and trash, they both float up out of nowhere just the same, don’t they. 🙂 And thank you thank you thank you for encouraging us to join you on this NaPoWriMo journey. I really did need a kick in the pants. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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