An Ocean Between Us

Almost a year ago you called me up

And told me your friend had committed suicide.

 

I remember how the rain struck the windows

As if demanding entry, as if storms

Surged in dirge and bitter salute,

Railed and seethed and raged as if in unbecoming

As if only floods could wash away this anguish

And the devastation craved more victims.

 

I remember how the room was cold, dark,

Shattered, like it could never be whole again,

Like we were clinging to remnants of a shipwreck

And all I could hear was your breaking voice,

Desperately searching for him amongst the wreckage

As you struggled to breathe, to hold on,

Struggled to resist the overpowering might of the tides,

Struggled to overcome the impulse to just surrender

As if you could hear his voice in the storm

Feel his phantom seep through your skin

As the glacial waters and winds numbed your flesh

As nothingness beckoned, crushed and submerged your senses

And the tempest erupted like a crescendo inside your frame

Like a choir of everything you had lost

Currents hauling in the ruins of distant shores

Every gust of pain incited into whirlwinds

Wresting at your grip

Bludgeoning your resolve

Withering your spirit

 

I tried to reach you, to call out

Pleaded with you to not let go

Cried that I loved you and it was not your fault

But the words were lost in the clamour

And no words could conciliate it

And it felt like there was an ocean between us.

 

They called it an accident

But we knew that wasn’t true

What hurts the most is knowing

It could have been you

That so many cast themselves overboard each day

And we mourn, grieve, but never speak

Of the vessel, the cruelty of captains toward their crew

Or the storms we are consigned to sail through.

 

I remember everything of that night

And nothing at all.

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