Regardless of what you’ve been told,
I moved in because I didn’t want
to hear the ocean anymore,
the slosh of water autopsying itself—
a reminder that I would one day
be an unclaimed vacancy.
That endless hum and pulse rattled
the limp spiral of my body, echoed
through the sideways cadence
of my thoughts. Sleepless, I ground
down my jaw’s fine coral—until
I found this place. Abandoned,
sand-shuttered, garden gone to weed.
I tended a bed of anemones in anticipation
of my enemies and examined
the interiors’ flaking paint: opal swirls
like a child’s unsteady scrawl. Nowadays,
I live above the shoreline,
out of reach of the waves’ white hooks
and the visitors, who unknowingly
hold me to their ear.