The dance and the waves and every moonlit night


Natalie Mix

A sketch of the waves in my heart, bottled by my own self-loathing

The moon indifferently illuminates the shoreline where my feet rest in the sand, the cold pressure of the grains leaving a pattern on my skin. 

The sun’s jurisdiction ends here; the moon watches me with detached amusement, waiting to see what I will do. 

From here I can see the sea, the undulating waves of purples and blues. The water ripples, apathetic for now, but with passion below the crest of every wave, simply waiting for the current to change. 

The sea called me here under the pretense of friendship; it calls me time and time again, like a whisper in the night. I return invariably because the dusky hues are mesmerizing, and when the waves invite me in, I feel seen; I feel heard. 

They crest around me, and we become engrossed in a dance where the steps are enchanting and elegant, where poignancy is the objective. 

But the current always shifts, and the waves fall without their previous grace. The tempo doesn’t change; it’s still a dance, but an avoidant, violent routine. 

The once unassuming passion has revealed its fragile insecurity; it’s the swath of bubbles on every roiling wave. The hands grab for me, reaching between the folds and needing, needing, needing me. They require things I don’t have, things I won’t give them. 

The romanticism falls away; the sea is whispering truth into a vortex around me. It’s splashing words and churning rhythm drown me out, render me obsolete. 

What was the sea’s is also mine now; it wants me to share its saturating emotions, perhaps unwittingly, but every oscillation of the deep blue waves swells within me. Yet it won’t take what I have to give.

The sea is all-encompassing, suffocating, lilac and navy swirls splashing into each other, contorting to separate themselves from the mob of alike hues, and I am a bygone casualty.

My words fall like icy raindrops, shattering against the midnight curl of a wave to erratic reception. Sometimes, the waves snap forward like tendrils, bellicose and biting. 

But sometimes there is laughter, shifting shapes pirouetting over the sea, striking beauty in the iridescent fabrics of the water—all-encompassing in a way that overflows in my heart. And this ecstasy, this effervescence is what keeps me returning, night after night, to a dance that never feels safe. 

Out of the moon’s eye, on grassy fields and shining sidewalks, the sun extends blankets of warmth; she sends weaving rays of light to the garden bed of my heart. 

I am the sun’s child. I have to be, or I’m not sure what’s real anymore.

But I’ve stolen a bit of the ocean, to water the garden. The moon watched, still waiting. And I hope he will always wait for what we both know is a vague and unsure future, a future I fear for—that one day I will be the ocean, that the sun is only mine ephemerally.

If the waves take me, if I become one of them, I’m bound to spend the rest of my days drowning and drowning out, splashing silently, splashing musically, clashing. 

But if the waves in my heart can only stay there, can only keep to themselves, then maybe the sun won’t forsake me, maybe the sea will only call me on those moonlit nights.