In my nightmares, I’m still in the sea

(Mati, Greece, July 2018)

She hadn’t prepared for this
She hadn’t worn gym shoes, or those jelly slippers she sometimes used in the sea
She hadn’t worn her swimsuit, the one with gold wings that made her feel like superwoman
She hadn’t learned to breathe underwater, or grown wings to fly through burning stones
How do you prepare for this?
White lily in a summer dress, ageing petals dessicated by salt and water
For burning streets, rain of smoke and ash
     Stay alive, stay alive, stay alive
For the symphony of exploding pine cones, branches, car mirrors
      Stay alive, stay alive, stay alive
For the silence of 102 charred faces who didn’t get away
   Stay alive, stay alive, stay alive
For the sweet pull of darkness, and visceral push for life

She hadn’t prepared for this

For the sweet pull of darkness, and visceral push for life
       Stay alive, stay alive, stay alive
For the silence of 102 charred faces who didn’t get away
       Stay alive, stay alive, stay alive
For the symphony of exploding pine cones, branches, car mirrors
       Stay alive, stay alive, stay alive
For burning streets, rain of smoke and ash
    White lily in a summer dress, ageing petals dessicated by salt and water
How do you prepare for this?
She hadn’t learned to breathe underwater, or grown wings to fly through burning stones
She hadn’t worn her swimsuit, the one with gold wings that made her feel like superwoman
She hadn’t worn gym shoes, or those jelly slippers she sometimes used in the sea
She hadn’t prepared for this

By Rachel D.

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