may the third
my gentle rocking wave,
how can anyone measure longing? is there a tool that i have not found yet to determine the weight of this lump dredged deep in my throat that seems to awaken like the kraken whenever the sea mists paint your name across the deck of this god damn ship? is there any way i can put into words how this gunpowder stinks like death and how i only wish to bathe in the scent of your skin on mine once more? how can i begin to explain anything at all? i have seen hell alight these past few days, my sleeping is something to be wanted, i am growing older far faster than the lord has perhaps intended. and yet i stay clean shaven and stand up straight just in case the tides recede far enough to bring me back to you. i have written you every day and every word comes out wrong, so i throw my crumpled chunks of heartstrings into the sea, away to drift aimless like i aim to be. i am so scared in every way imaginable.
my father once told me that the only way to truly escape anything, whether it be war or the devil or the creeping blackness that hides within everyone, is to stay inside the sea and let it swallow your soul up. he said that if the ocean ever calls you home, then you can never truly be lost. there is holy water somewhere here and i will wash myself clean of everything that ever made you cry and everything that will ever break your heart. my absense is the last gift i can afford to give, please rebuild your walls higher so they can never be torn asunder again. pray for hails of gunfire to bring me to heaven. pray for sinking ships and whiskey whales to swallow me up, gobble down this tired body and leave me to wallow inside the hollows of the world. every night i bend over, creaking bones and all, and ask god only to take you deeper into his bosom and to hold you the way that i used to, only with a little more love.
i know that i am not brilliant, i know that your mother raised you well and taught you better than to get tangled up in spiderwebs like mine. love is a tricky scab that we cant help but pick and pick because we want proof that it is still there, still pulsing, still bleeding the same color as it did far too long ago. it seems that i have scratched myself to the bones searching for colors that were there all along. i know that i have failed you and i know that you have kept your quiet with the amity of statuesqe perfection, my cactus fingers cutting you open and you only loved me for it. i suppose that if you were in my shoes, dressed up in some naval outfit that fits too snug for my liking, then you would have already been awarded a medal for bravery in the face of absolute danger. they said, when we first set sail, that war is hell. i have since found that war is heaven and that love is hell, because war is an endless hallways of fire escapes and shoots and ladders, daggered across the pacific skyline blood red with loss and with the appeal of dignity still lingering just over the dying like of yesterday.
i love you the way i love the sea: i only wish to drown inside of you so that you could better see all of me. keep close to your brother and please reassure the children that i am fighting. between you and i, i dont know how long i can last at this, my scalp can only taste death once and i do not want to die nameless and broken. im so sorry that i left you in the dark so long, im so sorry that i do not have your affluence to tell you all the things you need to know. im so sorry that i ran away to fight demons that have been growing inside me like a child. i will return to you with halos hanging sturdy above my skull, demons excised, arms open to entangle you in all the love you are forever indebted to. please pray for me and i promise that i will unravel like a story soaked into the sea, finally broken apart, finally set free. there are doves somewhere nestled inside of this cracked ribcage and i will not return to you until they soar. you were always my favorite dream and i let you slip through my fingers, sands of time eroding all the towers i built barehanded and blind. i am a coward, this i know, leaving you to tend our young like a lonely shepard left to the wolves, but i have seen your swords shine and i have seen the way your eyes turn to coal when they need to smolder everlasting lessons into the tender skin of youth. you will make them better alone than i would have corrupted them with cowardice and fringed morality.
i love you, i love you, i love you, i never lied about that, i never blathered untrue, i never faltered with feeling. i only wanted to feel all there was to feel. send my spring angel and my summer son all the love you have to spare, tell them that i am being brave. i cannot bare to stand the thought of them looking at me through disappointed eyes. tell them i am fighting for them, tell them my guns blaze endlessly, saving the world, sailing the ocean, their floating father has yet to be harrowed in battle. yet i can feel the knuckles of death rapping on my locked cellar doors, waiting with patience for me to gather the strength to let him in. the sea will save me somehow. i will save you, i will save me, i will save sanctity or i will die trying.
i love you, to the edges of the world and back again, no matter what the black clouds may spell out.