BECAUSE I SAY I HATE THE OCEAN,
EXCEPT WHEN I'M ALONE
I’m offered a water, and a tea, so I take both, because I’m thirsty. And the more options the better,
or so I tell myself.
You’re a ways away, but I think of you as I sip on each beverage, my lips moving from one straw to the other, refreshing my sand-filled mouth.
“There’s an ocean between us, among other things…”
you say, over typed conversation, hidden by a palm, with my back against the wind; wind that carries my question on the breeze, onto the mainland.
I’m not sure I want to return home, and after all, I’m deathly afraid of the sea.
Our fate squeezed between toes as my feet hit the sand, granules of what we’ll never become, etched in time stolen from us before I met you, before we held hands over foggy beers, before I realized who I had become.
Coupled and compounded with more secrets than one;
at this point, I’ve swallowed all excuses.
(there is no room for justifications under the skirt of an adulteress)
It’s funny, though, how easy it was—
to drown the margaritas in the sea mist at the back of the ferry,
and stare at the safe blot of land becoming more of a mirage than anything.
I’m not on solid ground, I think
of the worlds below me, behind me, the ones destroyed with a kiss.
No: I’m miles under the sea, dry as the earth and imperfectly perfectly right in the middle of the shore
and the shore,
as you swallow your gin within your own distant life and believe
we’ll be happier together, than with anyone else.
But, there are too many shores on my island.
About the Writer
Erica Hoffmeister is a student at Chapman University, completing both her MFA in Creative Writing and her MA in English. A former public school teacher and current gypsy-wanderer, she is finally pursuing her creative talents with a romantic fervor. After years on the road, she is currently standing still and strong in Southern California. Split Lip Magazine is her debut appearance.