Ocean by Nina Eddinger

I am slowly learning to breathe again

To look in the mirror again

To run my hands over my body again 


To fill the bathtub again.


There have been times when my skin was a map of all things I’d never see and the places I couldn’t go

A topography of my short comings and 

I reveled in it each night

A binding of skin and bone, a tome of flesh


I read each page like braille 

Gillian Flynn can carve words on skin

But I was never so thorough


I am slowly learning to live again


I was so strong when I was younger

But the years added were stones on my back

It took me under

And I lost her


“I would know her in death, at the end of the world.” 


I’m trying to rebuild her

what a younger version of me thought i’d become

Because I was fierce and godly and 



I am trying to be that again

“But never have I been a blue calm sea. I have always been a storm.”

From the moment I drew breathe 

There was an ocean in my mouth

tongue licking waves and white cap eyes and a trench where my heart should be 


An essay on drowning

Is what i wrote in my soul 

every pour spewed forth a ship buffeted and buckled by wind


A woman as miraculous as water

I was pseidon, a titan that sank ships and built corals

The gods can live down here too

And I am among the few


“It was a deeply humbling thing, to stand in front of the universe.” The universe is in my bones, in the ocean carved ways of my gut


“Toni Morrison writes, All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.”

When I return to that water 

I want it to be a bathtub

Filled with my ships and salt 

It is my universe in porcelain stillness 


And I will soak it in 


Nina Eddinger received her Bachelor’s in Professional Writing in 2021. Her work has been published on The Borgen Project Blog and Magazine, as well as Shoofly Literary Magazine, Share Literary Journal, and Her Campus. A fictional short story of hers was republished in Plain China’s Best Undergraduate Writing Edition of 2021.