and the first breath reared its head into my chest
the way oxygen singed my lungs-
caressed every alveoli with its teeth-hands,
its tongue-heart licked incinerations so fervent, the sea could not tame.
the first time i sneezed,
an inferno bloomed.
i thought i tasted
soot.

the first step i took,
plucked the cords to feel the
tension in my sinews, in my limbs.
feet smothering my secrets into the sand,
the grains ingesting my laughless laughter,
will subsume with salt.
the colour of veins when i bend my feet to face the light
makes me certain:
there are rivers running
through me.

the first dawn
was honey and light pinned to a tree.
i learnt that rays refract underwater,
that secondhand warmth
only provides so much heat
and that the sun is now my lighthouse.

sometimes i sleep in the ceramic bed,
slide into the silky cerulean pool.
i haven’t forgotten how to talk fish,
i still find traces of salt on my pillow.

my tongue is heavy, sated with saline.
most days i half expect to find brine between my teeth.

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