By Elizabeth Mitchell
(or I may still be talking about this at 45, and if I survive that long, it will be a blessing)
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
I imagine I will become one with the water
below, its dark depths calling me to silence,
serenity. Not wanting an ending, but needing a calm,
I plead with passersby to see me, hear my sobs,
but no one is listening.
To whomever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning,
to whomever… *
A woman requests a picture. I snap
her smiling face, mine a film of tears.
As she walks away, I place my hands on the railing,
familiar touch of steel. My eyes seek out
the place where the rocks will not break me.
100 feet down and I am aware
that I do not want this. To shift
my body midair, feel
my spine crack against the waves.
Immersed in this silent darkness.
Seal or sea lion slips past my leg.
This is not the death I wanted. But
it chooses to support my back, pushes me
to light and air and holds me there
above the water.
* “To whomever…”: from “Poets Obligation,” Pablo Neruda, The Essential Neruda, City Lights Publishers, 2004
Elizabeth J. Mitchell is originally from Detroit and lives in southeast Michigan. She studied literature, history and race while an undergraduate at Williams College. She builds websites for a living. She enjoys mentoring teens, nature, and birds. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change and BLACKBERRY: a magazine.