i wait underwater for them, under the leaves of kelp drifting in the sea's wind. i never visibly relax; this is unquestionable. a fact of nature. they never see my face, never seem agitated, but i know their inner current rips away any semblance of identity they find. it is so brutal that the only things they have for reference are externalities. they look for accomplishment and comparison the way i need companionship and comfort. pure desperation. lacking it, despair. peace is not unwanted, but it is anathema, and would likely upset their system so deeply they'd never recover.

i consider my standing, and my decision to wait, and i wonder why I don't let the currents pull me from the murk that has become my chosen home. i choose to sequester myself, thinking it helpful to whoever i aim my grace towards, never considering if they want my attention. i get what i want without asking if it wants me. never receiving any affirmation, i create a system of external symbols of validation from them. but maybe there is an alternative, a people who would want me enough to tell me.

if i could leave the water, i would. i know i can return. but the leaves above, solid in their grounding to the earth, seem so much nicer to sit with.