I remember being baptized
it felt like I was drowning
choked by God’s hands
forcing me from birth into his grasp
I loved him from that moment,
that he would give me that water
even if it meant I couldn’t breathe.
I imagine death,
allowing you to re-enter his Ocean,
just like you did in crusty innocence.
Finally giving you relief,
after carrying yourself so long,
he lets you lay down.
Birth and death,
the only times I will ever know silence.
That is the benevolent God mother cries for.
She can’t wait for her second Ocean.
Find me where there is everything and nothing.
I am lost at sea. Trying to find myself.
My breath wrestling it’s best moves inside of me
won’t stop me from dancing in the epitome of peace.
This is the one place they haven’t physically gotten to.
Let me enjoy this journey before they turn this haven into a disaster.
This space I cry in, is also the place that welcomes the tears.
It is the place that doesn’t submerges my fear in the darkest of corners.
I hope you find me. As soon as I find myself.
I am lost, but I am at peace, not in pieces.
I am struggling, but I am finally alone, let me be.
I am searching,
and I pray that i find it here.
I found you in the surrender of the sea,
even in your death,
you were dancing.
The above poetry excerpts are in dialogue with a short film titled “Until The Quiet Comes” produced by LA-based film collective What Matters Most. In a writing workshop held weekly at the Berkeley Public Library, we watched the short film twice before responding to three photographic stills taken from the film. We wrote for 7-9 minutes on each image with the challenge of embodying a character from each still (instead of simply describing the scene). These are 2 of the 9 responses that emerged from this exercise. For more information on these workshops, visit Youth Speaks!