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  • Tyler Bauer

smooth seas are no good for drowning

there is a man that sits alone

in a tarnished old fishing boat

bobbing up and down and up

atop the whitecapped peaks

when the tide is at its highest

usually sometime around midnight

a moonlit silhouette in the spray of mist

this man is just a shadow on the sea

with a mask as black as charred coal

but if you look close

which few ever do

you will notice he is not alone

there is a hostage held by his side

a man of about five foot nine,

hogtied with a soggy rope and

rusted lumps of iron shackled to both feet

he is silent.

the masked man is too.

he is me.

the masked man is too.

then suddenly the waves become too much

capsized into the icy sea

I sink fast

through the foamy layer and into the bubbly abyss



and deeper

and deeper

I go

burnt from the tight knots of the nylon rope

I writhe and thrash to be free from these bonds

an instinctive battle to breathe

a doomed fight to be

then I remember

the razorblade I keep stored

sharpened with a whetstone in my head

I cut away the ropes holding me trapped

I pick the shackles with a tiny yellow pill in my pocket

In my resolve from the despair of drowning

I take in a lungful of the salty sea air and see

that the sky is blue,

the sea is calm

but a storm is brewing in the distance

the masked man is holding out his hand

and so I take it

I am silent.

he is too.

I am alive.

he is too.


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