High Tide

it hurts doesn’t it

when the tide rises

surges at the back of your


the roof of your mouth turns salty

all your words are shark teeth

and rusty hooks

so you sit with lock jaw in the bay

they press in with hands

they ask if you’re okay but

speech is always

dangerous here

you know you are


so you shake like an addict

till your muscles lock jaw

and sometimes you thought it would be


sometimes you thought

you could live without this

everyone sits more distant,

reminds you that

‘you’ve been so well for so long’

but they only disappear.


high tide slides back down your throat,

sitting heavy as the ocean tends to be

in your stomach

fishing line loosens its tug on your ribs

you smooth yourself with sand

you remind your heart it doesn’t need to be

held in place

no matter how well pumice floats

your mother comes back from hospital

staring at your washed up eyes

she always misses the high tide


High Tide

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