He stood on the shore and watched me drown.

That was the first time I understood real pain.
The pain of water filling my convulsing lungs as they
squeezed, longing for air. But also, the pain of watching him
ambivalently wait on the shoreline.

I can only imagine the view.
It must have been a spectacular dusk, with orange and pink tongues
of sunfire licking up, and reflecting off the waves.
He maybe could see a distant silhouette of a peninsula with palm trees
jutting out into the darkening water.

Terror gripped me when I realized
he wasn’t coming for me.

He didn’t rescue me, because he didn’t want to.

Years later,
He would claim it was because he didn’t know I was
going under.

Then I knew what love isn’t.



“Someday someone won’t be afraid of how much you love. They won’t stay on the shore; they’ll meet you in the depths–you weren’t made for shallow waters, your heart is an ocean, ”

–Breanna Sipple