Poem: The Sea Less Enjoyed

One night we drove to Ogmore.

The sea was in a foul mood
but we were invited and my sister and I, full of half-Arab etiquette, don’t like to reject an invitation.
So we jumped.
Into a sea less enjoyed.
The sea covered our covered bodies,
exploring the curves of our womanhood.
I willed her to shape my shores.
The lifeline of all living things,
she gave me an angry baptism,
but it was clear she wanted my death.
So I tried to acquiesce and lay still like Rossetti’s Ophelia, but the sea, she would not let me be.

She forced me to fight.
Washing over me until I was cleansed,
Until I realised how fragile I was against her power that began to permeate every corner of my wretched self.
My sister revelled in the sea’s embrace and showed me how to enjoy the struggle.
We bathed in the salty tears of the earth.
And felt alive.