Rogue Truth

Now I am going to read a word-
The first letter is a snake
The second is a line with three more lines
The third is a line with a foot
The fourth is much like the second
but with one and half less lines-
I remember sitting on the beach in Westerly, RI
It was October
The wind was cold, the ocean was grey
I sat with my back against boulders
with the distinct feeling that I needed to leave
I had the ridiculous thought that the ocean wanted me
for something I couldn’t come back from
I corrected myself
An ocean is not alive and cannot think about this
Yet, the foam from the last wave tried to touch my feet
I pulled them closer to my sitting body
I was alone on the beach
I thought of how it might be for a rogue wave to snatch
me, dragging me to an emptiness that is real
and I thought of how I would be the only one to know-
The ocean looked more aggressive than when I had first sat
The waves seemed to be larger, gathering
I swatted away the feeling of realism pinching at the back of my neck
I am a selfish me thinking alone on a beach
that an ocean would care enough to snatch and drag me anywhere
while needing to note, internally, that I was alone and no one would know
except the grey ocean and large waves with foam-
I needed to feel something in my hands and ignore what wasn’t happening
A splintered rock helped me to carve a word into a boulder
A word that without meaning would mean anything I could possibly want it to mean
without being told, or guided, or scolded into what it was
No, this word was mine and I chose to let it be mine without permission-
I saw a dark horizontal line out in the ocean, a bulge almost. Was that a wave?
My heart quickened. I needed to leave.
I started walking, waves now reached my feet with ease, I pushed
further up onto the beach, the waves came for me
The dark line was closer
I ran
SELF is a blundering epiphany

Now I’m going to read another word.

-M. Taggart