Ginna Luck

Sea Water and Debris


Waves sway in the air like an iridescent cloth. They come together surprisingly gently and then shift directions. She is tangled in the waves. In every direction there is the moon and the sea and that sound. Listen. It is shooting a hole right through the middle of her. Her eyes are breakable. It fills her mouth and pours away behind her in every corner of her skull. It is the color of her neck in the sun. It is the excruciating pain jammed beneath her fingernails. It is the air locked inside her throat all night long. There is so much of her heart that is left, so much leftover she cannot use. It will not stop crying more! She pushes her hot face through the cold water and sees she has come to nothing or rather nothing has come of her. And what is the difference anyway?



She spits all the air out of her lungs and inhales what it is to feel vaguely sexual, almost nothing, hardly body, just sea: thick and slippery, coiling and uncoiling in her mouth like a lover around the bend of her arm, the curve of her breast, fold and fold again over the injured parts of her heart to cool the worst hurt. Die it whispers, die it whispers from below and grows into the deep center of her, three times the weight of bones, three times the weight of any tower of her strength, any determination of her spirit, heavy like many bodies, heavy like panic that knocks her flat. Her teeth are in pain. Her spine shatters in all directions. Everything is bursting against the pressure: her hands, her arms, her mouth spilling the chorus of sorry, the chorus of please.



The sea washes up the ruins of a hundred fish, barely body, barely head all over the shore. There are gills and teeth and scales. There are empty black hollows where eyes used to be. There are the sea-wreaked entrails. Visitors are forced to leave because of the awful smell and the fact the water is burning. All her old hurts are throbbing on the waves. They are gutting the fish and searching the edges of the sea. They mimic what her face looked like. Each wave is the color and shape of her lips, the awkward angle of her nose, the bend in her arms, the marks on her skin, on her face, the dark vein between her eyes. A pair of huge birds dive bomb the water, cut over and over again into silver gills and islands of muscle. They can’t just let her die. A sound floats up that might be her voice but it is too far out to hear.


Ginna Luck’s work can be read in Typehouse Literary Journal, Juked, Pif, The Writing Disorder and more.