THE OCEAN IS A WOMAN
can you acknowledge me fully? not the facets of light, shattering glass refracted, the pieces taken apart. no rage, no bounty - this roiling undertow is careless in its direction. can you acknowledge me fully? without imposition, without projection, these currents are boundless and indifferent. there is no malice in the tempests or in the stillness, no love. can you acknowledge me fully? power without the absence of motherhood, nurturing without the absence of strength. i am not the life of you, not the cold fingers at your throat. i am not a taking, or for taking; not a giving, or forgiving.
acknowledge me fully: nursery, trenches, bounty, battleground. acknowledge me fully: more than the still shot preserved, the food at your table, the way you want inside me. more than the boundaries, the categorization, the expectations and deliberations. more than depths for plunder, or promises beyond the horizon. more than what you make of me. acknowledge me fully: more than you.
the ocean is a woman: we take and we fear and we love, but only in parts.
Michelle Cadiz is a poet from the Philippines. She has been previously published with Serotonin, and will be published with Capsule Stories in September 2020.