They stay for hours,
They stare into his soul.
Epithetical tentacles keep him close
To a herd of aerial seahorses,
His mind flooded with
Metallic curses and ebony phantoms.
He tries to turn away, but
The binds keep him trained.
His freedom is strangled
Under leather blasphemies.
A watchful jellyfish steals his aches
Of unrequited love and spoiled flesh.
His face boils and his body contorts.
He feels his throat close.
Coughing up webbed hooks and urchins,
The boy vomits, pulling against his restraints.
Nearby seagulls cry for his release,
Silenced in the octopus’ vicious grasp.
Far below, a chorus of dolphins sing,
“Jump! Jump! The deep calls for you.”
The group whinnies and sinks into darkness.
An eel nudges him forward.
“Go on,” it hisses. “This is your chance
To silence the cynics and evade past negligence.”
The boy was trembling at the edge of the springboard.
Ripples form at the water’s surface beneath.
There was no going back to the
Harassment, deceit, and callous abandonment.
He dreamed of a land of passion and acceptance,
And he had a golden ticket.
In a swift motion, the boy jumped,
Feeling his neck snap against a knotted cable.
He drowns in a tempestuous ocean of icy regret
Before he can reach the water.