Spring Tide

by Raksha Narasimhan
Art by Christine Cheng
Issue: Ataraxia (Spring 2018)

A person in a black dress on a cliff pours an urn of water into the sea. The bottom of the stream of water impossibly widens.

You pulled and you pushed
—you swept me off my feet.

You were an enigma.

And though you came and left, rushed forth and back
Your constancy lay in the way you never left for good
I’d look down, fascinated by the flow
As foam surrounded my pink-painted toes

I cried because you were so beautiful but so transient.

Because every time I rooted myself into the white sand—
Waiting for the rush of cool water to sweep me off my feet,
The waves receded; they pulled away
Leaving me coarse.

And yet time after time, I gave in to your melodious rhythm.

I closed my eyes and let the beads billow around me
Let the coolness trickle past my toes to my matted hair.
But when I opened my eyes, I could see only my bare toes
Numb from the icy coastal breeze.

Where did you go?

I’d wade through the coarse sand—where were you?
Skidding through the slippery silences—were they my fault?
Because that’s how it felt when I rushed forward
Only to be left parched.

You pulled and you pushed—you
swept me off my feet.