The Lorelei

"You've drowned me, you know," I say,
Looking back at the places, the people
That I once knew, long ago,
Under different stars, a different roof.
For how is it, that when I dwell on
Your faces; our shared secrets
Welling up to the disturbed surface
Of my mind, I cannot see
Anything beyond my past,
Sunning itself on the shores of time,
Preening, knowing only it can hold me now.
That languid Lorelei, knowing, but
Barely caring about my need for it.
It drags me down below sparkling waves
Echoing each other, stroking the shore,
Where I get tangled in webs of seaweed,
Dreams deferred, love songs, metaphors,
What I have known, what I have lost.
The memories return with a vengeance,
Bind my wrists and ankles.
But it doesn't matter that I am bound
To my past, full to brimming with all its demons,
Because I do not want to resurface,
Though I can't hold my breath any longer.
Water rushes into my mouth,
Collapses my lungs; the pain
Is a distant memory, the pressure
Of the water on my skull might
Have happened years ago, because
That is the future; the past is forever:
My days rewinding in torturous repetition.
This is how it must be.
Otherwise, what would I do?
Admit that what I base my existence on
Is but a dream belonging to
Sunny shores and shimmering seas?

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