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At night

the entire planet moves by water,

and you wake up

buffered by its currents.

Being washed ashore is gentle,

wave by wave returning you from your depths

to a surface land can fathom.


The house where you were born

is smothered by the sea.

Jellyfish pulse

around the empty cradle where you slept,

glowing like dreams.


The sea has chasms that run deeper

than your mother’s smile, and peaks

that cut sharper than her tongue.

It has devoured mountains

long before memory

was a flickering lamp inside our skulls.


The thoughts of the sea

swim in the shape

of algal blooms, of whalesong,

coral blazes and shoals of herring.

Its spine sways with the life

streaming through its water column.


The sea opens its mouth

to drink the river of your body.

Its rising swells swallow

your footprints,

transforming I am here

into I am here, dissolving.

Amanda Hiland is a queer writer who grew up hiking through the forests of Oregon. A Special Education teacher by day, she is also a major astronomy enthusiast at night. She spends her free time folding origami, traveling, and advocating for underserved communities. Her work has appeared most recently in VoiceCatcher, Epiphany, Willawaw Journal, and Cathexis.

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