For too long I have pedaled salt against rock
rubbing its sharp edges with my silken flesh
till i knew
the taste of oceans way better than my own mouth

mother, i know how you grieve in silence
a language passed onto you by the women in your family

i also know how much you hate the smell of oranges when they go bad
the smell of rancid flesh; retiring a bitter tangy hue in the air

not realising that it is our salted caramel skin that is being burned
at slow angst in the form of all the bad oranges in the world.

so when you asked me that night what i see in the mirror when i stand in front of it
I remembered how

last year, i almost drowned in the sea
my legs lurched in fear of dying,
so i cried and cried for help till the salt from my eyes broke the ocean into halves

which is why when i imagine myself
i imagine salt burning the water