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Alessa Catterall

When I was a child, I dreamed
a rushing wave from the shore
threatening sea-pour swept in
through the open frosted glass
of the bathroom window.

I was asleep in ice for 30 years,
stop motion water held fast.
When the sun-warmth finally broke through,
its refracted shimmer hit an inflection
which began to bring me to surface consciousness,
a note of song gentling me out of dream,
bringing the water running out of me,
more and more heart-thaw,
bitter salt water boiling over in waves.
It left me adrift, unprotected from the melt,
floating out to sea amid ice.

I dreamed you and I, naked,
in a bathtub together.
You gripped my hair, pushed me under
into our warm inner water, filling up with
choking, pale plastic mimicking jellyfish,
sustenance for a selkie soul.

Skin is an illusion,
a thin, soft, pliable screen
we press our hands to. It holds us under
keeps our oceans apart. Without it,
we would pour into each other, and maybe
we would see how much everything
is just love
and that we are all drowning -
we just don’t know it yet.

Alessa Raine Catterall (she/they) is an Anglo-Scottish artist and poet. She writes about living fully, authentically, and with vulnerability as a chronically ill, neurodivergent, queer woman. She aspires to live in a kinder, less human-centric world. Her work has appeared in Aloe Magazine and Selcouth Station Press.

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