Elegy for a Drowned Girl – Gari Eberly

For a moment, echoes over the ocean sound your obituary —
these jagged cliffs are your gravestones, and perhaps
the algae the rolling waves offer to the shoreline is
the water’s apology.

For sending your casket deep into the corals.
For seasoning the ocean salty with your panic.
For surging your lifeless limbs away from land.

Gray, gray, gray, your grave is no different, though instead of
mounds of freshly turned dirt, you’re covered with
foaming white rapids, which I imagine cover more to be discovered.

Did you cry?
Are you the reason ocean water stings?
Did your tears erode these rivers on my cheeks,
stealing away youth in exchange for what
the Atlantic stole from you?

I can’t decipher if blood or an ocean breeze rushes in my mind
when I think about how water burned your lungs and
thrashed you along the current like a
lone garment in a washing machine.

And so the ocean only grows,
belly full with violence.
I dot the water with primrose
but am only met with silence

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