Middles and Other Spaces Between

Sep 1, 2021 | 2021 Fall - Bodies, Poetry

By Gabryelle Iaconetti

Rocking the boat, I fell into the sea
The confinement of the vessel was suffocating me

I move through spaces between one shore and another
They boast soft sand but hidden beneath are sharp rocks
Treading ocean water, I float on my back looking up at the endless, expansive sky

People on the sandy shores call to me from both sides
“Come here!” “No, come here!”
“You can’t stay floating in the middle forever!”
“You’ll have to swim to the shore sometime, either here or there!”
The words catching on the salty sea breeze, they fade out over my head

Sometimes I simply pretend not to hear them
Other times, I let them know their words have landed
And I turn away in defiance, dipping beneath the ocean’s surface
Floating in the expanse

I like to feel untethered in the middle of the ocean, between shores, between lands
Swimming among all the other creatures just like me who don’t want to come ashore
I don’t see many of them – maybe they’re taking a break under the waves
Maybe they’re also tired of hearing the yells of disapproval coming from both shores, too
Tired of the commotion, wanting to just float, just be, in peace

Another boat glides by in the distance
Is it a beacon of safety?
Or yet another uncomfortable, too-tight vessel to be shoved into?
I let the waves between the shores keep me afloat instead
The ocean, the space between, never confines me

Gabryelle Iaconetti (she/they) is from Montreal, Canada; she proudly identifies as bisexual. They have a background in library and archival work. She is also extremely passionate about history, bi activism, and veganism.

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