the love I know has tasted salt-
let it seep into its wounds.
sting until the burn is the same as it’s always been
recognizable, mundane almost.
I fear I will become an immovable pillar of salt among the waves
cease to hear the drumbeat on the sand
become a woman who no longer needs a name,
just strong footing.
evaporate into the very body that is meant to carry me to comfort
become everywhere and nowhere
like salt amidst the tide
stinging when I mean only to collect myself and shelter another.
left with no one to hold me
with nothing to hold onto
there is no road
I’ve no proof of life here in the middle of the ocean.
among the thieving current that threatens my hold on myself that I must remember
that the women in my family are born of water
dripping in blue and brine.
dehydrate. rehydrate. rinse. repeat.
we allow men to claw for us
attempt to grab hold briefly
while we sink into murky waters unmoved.
I know have always known,
none of us are never not alone.
but we need to scream into eyes that are not our own
if only to feel heard to feign togetherness for a time
I find myself tossing in blue
always coming back to it
restless on land-
swollen and writhing.
readying the retch.
wretched release of dryness.
I am nervous that to expel anything
is to expose everything.
keep my contents within
me all water and secret belly.
breakfast behind my eyes
trying to escape
turning indigo to the attuned watcher
but no one sees no one plays the right tune.
so my hazel changes tone and my voice doesn’t tremble when I lie
I am okay.
just can’t taste anything anymore-
need to add salt
Katie Seifert is an Oakland-based writer and artist looking for the truths between the things we say. Her art focuses on the intersection of the beautiful and untamed, with an emphasis on the masks women are forced to wear each day. Her visual work can be seen at https://www.evilkittydesign.com/.
Nicole is a ceramic enthusiast from San Francisco. Her interest in art began as a child, and she began fully exploring ceramics in high school. Alongside art, she enjoys working with animals, crocheting, and writing.