A Poem by Karen Lyles
The waters were murky as I stood watching the waves lap at my feet.
I was afraid as my heart pounded against my chest.
The wind scorched my skin from sheer cold.
I couldn’t do it.
I could not make myself leave the sand of the shore.
I thought of the pain from being alone.
I thought of the pain from heartbreak.
I thought of the tenderness that I longed to share with another woman.
I took a step.
The water was cold against my bare toes.
I wanted to pull back.
I wanted to run.
I couldn’t go forward but I couldn’t go back either.
Why was I so afraid?
I took a deep breath and stepped forward again.
The cold of the water over took my feet.
I looked out over the waters.
There was nothing but the water and the sky.
It was beautiful.
Maybe this won’t be such an awful way to die?
Why can’t I be what everyone expects me to be?
Why have I let everyone down?
Once again, I move toward the deep.
The waters are taking over my knees now.
I’m cold to the core of my soul.
There was no need.
No one was ever going to complete me.
I was a lost soul.
A lost soul-searching for something that would make me feel whole.
I stepped in the waters further.
My thighs became engulfed with the cold. Cold, the way I felt already.
Cold throughout my mind, body and soul. Nothing would ever warm me again.
I stepped again.
The wetness surrounded my waist.
The waves crashed into my chest.
This was good.
Now my body was as numb as I was inside.
I went to step another step.
I hear someone.
She’s calling from somewhere but I can’t tell where from.
I go to step.
I hear her voice more clearly now.
She’s calling me.
I wanted to die.
I wanted to give up.
Where was she?
Was I hallucinating?
I closed my eyes and leaned my head back into the wind.
She was there.
She was there behind the lids of my eyes. She was in my mind.
I know her.
Somehow, I know her.
I feel her pain.
It’s a lot like mine.
I sink into her eyes.
Her voice is comforting but arousing my body at the same time.
I shook my head trying to get her out.
She didn’t leave.
She embraced me.
I felt warm even as my body was physically engulfed by the cold.
I didn’t want to open my eyes because I was afraid she’d be gone forever if I did.
I was afraid to speak.
I was afraid to breathe.
As her embrace tightened, I surrendered. As her lips took mine, I shivered but this time not from the cold.
As I looked into her eyes, I loved her.
The hot tears running down my cheeks burned like fire.
I was burning throughout my body.
I knew her and didn’t even know her name. I knew her however.
Nothing and no one had ever made me feel this alive.
I was alive.
She saved me that day.
The day she invaded my heart.
She saved me.
I don’t know how she knew.
I don’t know why she cared but she saved me.
Maybe she’ll never know that I was drowning that day.
The day she came into my life.
Maybe she’ll never know that she is my hero.
I know, that day she changed my life.
That day she completed my soul.
That day she became the only one I’d ever really loved.
That day she mended all my brokenness and made me whole.
I know, that I will never let her go.