The waters that I come from are angry that I left in the dead of night,
the seabed scraping against my lungs, one painful crash after another.
The moon is a crescent shaped scar on my mother’s festering ankle.
The moon is the sunken mouth of my sinking lover.
I clasp at his blue decaying toenail,
as he slips deeper,
the dying creek trickles down the crevice between my breasts,
and pools at my navel.
Some lakes are man-made.
The waters that I come from are crass,
reflections of a mirror I licked with my bare tongue.
I collect it in a jar between my legs,
Will it quench your thirst? I gulp my own rivers.
There are diamonds gleaming on moldy green waters.
The sun slithers under my golden skin, on a happy afternoon.
This boat has no shore.
A sneaky little nap, stifling a gurgle,
this boat has crossed five seas, three oceans,
the salt fills up my heart, pumping out of my nauseous veins,
a gush of sickness, home, sea?
The waters that I come from follow me,
for every debt must be paid in kind.
Every night, I drown in my dreams,
gasping for air, waking up,
on a strange bed in a stranger’s city at the strangest hour.
I have swallowed the ocean, it rings in my belly bones.
I gargle it out with a can of worms,
and drown again.
Bidisha Mahapatra is an artist, writer and visual communicator from India. She is a storyteller who specialises in designing meaningful narratives across mediums. She is currently pursuing her masters in Arts Politics at the New York University. She works across mediums as a multimedia artist to raise awareness and political consciousness about gender, sexuality and mental health.