by Craig Shay
I’m pretty sure I drownedthat summer in 1991off the coastat Robert Moses’while the surf took me outin an angry rageaway from sand, the blankets,the umbrellas,and into a warm blacksoundless abyss. Suddenly there were lifeguardsand swimmers standing around.I guess the truth is… I wanted to drown I was only ninebut Susan, Susan,had said no to meand I knew what it was, I knew it was the start I knew, I knew,and foolishly believedthese visions of love were truewe’d be married etc…Susan Morphywith the freckles, blue eyes and brown hairwearing orange walkmanheadphonesborrowed from her sisterbrown bathing suit covered in sandendless frecklesI was too embarrassedit was humiliatingI wanted to be buriedin a graveyard of sand let the ocean to crash meinto oblivionand die therepeacefullyon the beachwithout embarrassment.Let the seagulls pick at my white boneslike a discarded sandwich.Spinning upside downbelow the waterthat lifeless feelingbeing thrown into this vicious baptismsalt water in the lungssand in the face, ears,and noseand those shadowslurking beneath the tide.I’m pretty sure I drowned.Coughing up seaweed,she didn’t see me there. Susan was gonein her family’sbroke down station wagon.I moved on. I’m pretty sure I drowned that summer,everything since has been a dream.