the still water that runs deep
somewhere on the coastline of my memory, two girls and a slick canoe
glide across a blue puddle, their opposite oars dipping in tandem.
one girl stands and stumbles like a wave overcome,
while the other sits and stares at their watery window.
beneath the girls, liquid glass and undersea sidewalk.
beyond them, a fish’s bones settled at the brink
of a sandbar’s black out. the girls are only canoeing because
the wave-like one is scared of fish, and feels their lips against her feet
every time she touches water. by now, the same water which upholds them
has propelled the boat towards precipice, the seafloor revealed
to be a mouth incapable of closing. it knows only threat. its throat
a furtive tornado. the wave-like girl shrieks when she sees
some fish bones on its bottom lip and shifts her oar with such chaos
the boat becomes a clock-hand incapable of escape or embrace.
the other girl is far more afraid of what comes from the dark
than she is of swimming and the boat has shrieked and
twisted and drifted beyond the point where iris meets pupil and
into a steep blackness as wide as the sky. for many, it is clear that fear
is a fight between two fists, and so, afraid of any hand
which could part water, the still girl folds her oar into her lap.
Ellie Sharp is a college student in Portland, Oregon studying comparative literature. They’ve been published by Blue Marble Review, Bitch Media, Deep Overstock, and all the sins. Ellie is also the editor in chief of their college’s literary magazine, Reed College Creative Review. Their writing loves the shoreline, and returns to it endlessly.