What it’s like to paddle a sinking vessel

Can I call it dreaming if I believe
I stopped existing years ago?
It’s always the same one, too-
beluga whales trembling in my palms,
slipping between my fingers, back
into clear oceans. That’s when I figured
this must be a dream. I’ve never
been able to see through anything-
not even you. The staggering opaqueness
of your skin hid paper bones I wanted
to fold into tiny ships. I’d sail
all the way back to my first life.
This dream-like state is tiresome, and I’m exhausted
from treading crystal water. Your body
could take me back to the beginning;
to when I wrote ledgers beneath your flesh
and strummed chords between your lungs.
I am drowning, holding on to what little
there is left of my composure. Somewhere
a mermaid sings the song of her lover, and I
am waiting to wake up, swimming
beneath you.

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