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Sailing into the Sea

For Sherry

By Rachelle

When the waves draw away from the moon-blanched sand,

the ship sails and I am wringing seawater from my bones.


When the ocean takes a breath, the ship rises the way

our rib-caged lungs move against the body, carceral.


And if the waters are calm tonight, the vessel basks in

the symphonies of gentle winds that dance upon the masts.


Yet if the tides do decide to no longer fold into themselves,

this cacophony of crash-cymbal waves will scrape against


this hull, this body, and it is relentless. I am but a traveller, in

search of harbours to dock. But I am anchored by the storms, raging


against the decks, and I know that the cabins may not hold on any

longer than I could wish for—and so I do not. I can only hold on


to the Morning, when the mercury waters are quiet again,

diamond sheets lapping diamond sheets. This is not to mean


that I am surrendering. I know, that when the sea is calm,

the ship follows, so I can climb up to the crow’s nest to watch


my turquoise waters, my cyan coasts, my silver-lined clouds.

My numbered days, I must spend doing all I can.


When the waves draw away from the sun-kissed sand,

the ship drifts and I am wringing seawater from my bones.

Author's Note

Inspired by Sherry’s deep love for the sea, this piece uses the waters as a metaphor for life and its unpredictability. The flares that come with vasculitis, like the sea, are volatile and one never knows when it may strike. Like a sailor who leaves their fate to the oceans, Sherry approaches life with an unparalleled tenacity to make the most of it. Undeniably, one must recognise the dash of morbidity that comes with living with an autoimmune disease, but also never forget that it is with this internalisation that we are driven to do all we can, embrace the voyage and the places it takes us, and leave the world a better place. This piece, bringing you from night through day, hopes to leave you feeling hopeful, empowered, and bold.

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