Ophelia, by Kala Godin

Ophelia tells herself that she can’t swim.
But the water is only at her knees, if only she would stand up. There’s not enough space.
She tells herself that love doesn’t exist, but then she’s falling and then she can’t breathe.
And it’s just like the drowning all over again.
Sometimes she thinks about him so much that she forgets her own name.
But that’s not normal right? That’s obsession? Right?

She remembers the girl she used to live by.
A girl that turned into a woman overnight.
She turned into a woman but lost herself at the same time.
Her name belonged to the man she married.
Her life became caring for him.
Only him, only him.
There is only him now.

Ophelia thinks that love is claustrophobic.
It will squeeze her smaller until she’s gone.
Ophelia wants to be anything but the damsel.
Ophelia wants to take up space.

She runs the bath.
She finds a pond.
A lake.
A river.
Space, she needs space.

He makes her feel small.
Tells her she’s gained weight…But…
He loves her.
Says it like he’s not sure.

Not enough space.
The bath?
River?

He holds her too tight.
Fingers digging until he finds bone.
Says “This is my fiancé.”
Doesn’t say her name.
Maybe he forgets it.

No one asks for it anyway.

More space…

She finds herself at the ocean one day.
She doesn’t stop moving towards it until salt water is filling her.
Closing all the holes he dug into her.

She doesn’t want to be saved.
Doesn’t want to be the damsel.
Or the Fiancé.
So she’ll teach herself how to be a tsunami instead.


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