Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

The Ocean Stopped Singing

This is different though. More than the times before, something changed… I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. I can only say I feel like everything just broke and bent away from me one day. I try to pull it back in, straighten it out as crooked as it was, but it’s not the same. All of it stays bent. Not in the same way as before when the fog moves in and takes a few days to lift, like the fog has been replaced by a darkness, a sky that fell while screaming no. The stars were holding me once, every now and then when I had my head in the clouds, but they don’t anymore. They dropped me when they felt the filth. They didn’t want to get dirty like that, wanted to keep their hands clean. I was dulling their shine, pouring poison into the wishes they held, ruining everything. It was the night when my mind bent itself backwards, a blackout that stays, lost its lights and named the shine as an enemy. A flat out refusal to ever come back again, whether the lights are on or not. I saw an image of myself in the twilight once and the universe shattered into pieces with my name. A reflection that burned into my mind, sealed it with a signature from hell, as if to say, please don’t ever show your face here again. So the flames pulled me apart, told me to stay in the charred remains of myself. Told me like a warning, sounding like a threat that meant it. Cursed me like a promise always does when you believe it just before it breaks. Breaks into itself, I broke into the twisting of my own promises, watched them shred into the ruin born in my eyes. I never saw them again. All the mirrors busted so I’m not able to look into myself again. Not allowed to analyze what looks back or all that never did. I am double vision of a blurry line that gave up on being crooked, decided to just bend and make a run for the tragedy of my own devastation because it was safer there. But it left me here. Took everyone else to prove I deserve to be alone and maybe it’s true. All the waves straightened out that day, became a flatline of nothing only for me. I am an audience of one with a front row seat to an ocean view for an ocean that fell silent and still. My favorite sound always was the song in the waves, the way they dance and crash. How they never leave no matter what. They don’t give up on staying or being. But on that day, it was last call and I missed it. Now it plays dead, falls flat when I look, doesn’t make a sound. Lies completely still even if I beg it to dance once more, it refuses. I still sit here and watch for any life at all that didn’t give up on me. I look through the blur in my eyes, the crooked line my mind bent into. I watch the flatline to spot any rhythm at all, but I never see it. You know when the sky falls and the ocean stops, there’s nothing left after that. That line that broke before, you can’t fix it this time. It snapped to get away. It’s not coming back. When all the hinges holding the universe together break and it’s pointing at you… that’s the end.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


2 thoughts on “The Ocean Stopped Singing”

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