between two seas

I’m surrounded by water with salt in my eyes and my body light – floating. I have a moment of fear, that i will float away and never stop. I am always afraid of letting go. The water doesn’t give me a choice. She holds me. Cradles all my fears and carries the stories of my ancestors in her molecules.

I stand between two oceans and i cannot hold my body up any longer. My knees begin to buckle as i feel the weight of my ancestors pain hit my like the crashing waves of the atlantic mere feet away. My limbs feel like jelly as the breeze of the caribbean sea behind me carries away the all the feelings of displacement that i have carried in my body. I have come home and my mind cannot catch up with all my soul is experiencing.

I sit on the hot, dry  ground. Feeling each blade of grass on my bare legs. I am overcome by these oceans. This is not just water. This is more than waves on rocks and gentle breezes. My outer vision blurs while my inner knowledge deepens, sharpens. I see my ancestors surviving on these journeys. I understand many did not. I feel their bodies in the water. I can hear their voices, whispers to hold on, screams as they let go. I know when I can stand again, I must get to calmer waters and put my body in this water. The ocean that they made their new home in, around. I must feel my ancestors memories on my body.

As I sit and inhale the legacies that these oceans hold. I see a man all in white working inside a white house. All white walls. It looks brilliant and fresh in the mid-morning sun. I can tell from the quietness that surrounds it that no one in living in it. I watch him painting white walls white. His clothes are bright white. He’s too far and behind a glass window so I can’t see his expression as he works. I continue to watch him. I had crossed over a ditch and passed a faded “NO TRESPASSING” sign. I wonder if he will see me and ask me to leave. I wonder if he would understand why I needed to be here, between these two oceans. Something tells me he would. When I go back a week later, I see him again, he’s outside of white house, leaning against a white truck, dressed all in white. I don’t see any paint on him. I wonder if he just starting his day. He says ‘Good morning’ and watches me walk. I cross the road, hovering, wondering if i can walk on to this property with him standing right there. He calls out again – it’s not his house. The owners are rich people who don’t live here, he thinks they might be british. White.

We exchange some pleasant words and jokes about these foreign people and their big houses. My accent betrays me, but he waves of my foreignness, asks me where my daddy’s from. He reveals a big smile when I tell him. He tells me “ay gyal, this your home too then.”

I go to the edge of the sea. I can stand today. I have my ancestors with me, holding me up. I see him in the house again. All in white. Painting white walls white. We exist, not knowing, all knowing, between two seas.

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