The distance between memory
and the sea is thin
as a membrane—
When you turn your head,
a rush of water floods your ear
so later at night, you can still
hear it swell and recede
as if into your pillow.

When your mother went
into labor she was so young—
she couldn't tell one fluid
from another: urine
around the salt cushion
where you paddled all day
and all night, casting
shadows bigger than you were.

The distance between the sea
and your mother is the watery
bubble of memory that flickers
and fades. You can't recall
those long months in the womb,
nor the way you pushed
through to what's marked
as the beginning.

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