Hawaii Stole My Heart (But It’s Not What You Think)

by Joanna

One year ago today

I flew in three different airplanes

Through three different cities

Over twenty-three hours of time

Across the entire country

And half of the Pacific

Just to reach you

Yes you

I came for you with all of the hope in the world

I planted myself into the moist soil

Dug my fingers into the arid sand

Took in the trade winds

While the rains danced upon my skin

I set my pen upon paper

And there I began a new chapter

Yet by the time I learned the flow

And found my confidence

The waves of your strife

Washed over me

Drowning my lungs

In salt and tears 

A tortured soul

Dragging me to depths

Too many fathoms below the light

Only to wrestle me 

Into submission and darkness

I find I am still alive

Only because I was exiled

Still, against my will

Six months ago

You broke me

Catching me with your hooks

Tearing my lips

Squeezing me too tight

Cracking scales and crushing bones

Only to toss me back

An unwanted catch

You didn’t even take the time

To look 

To know

If I made it alive

Back into the sea


I have my own path

But every time I think I am healing

I find that familiar cold pain

In the center of my chest

It is silence I crave

Yet my mind still screams

Just when I feel safe

You dig back in just to make sure

Your claws shining, shaping new cuts

Catching the scab you left

That bleeds again and again

I became lost with you

And further lost without you


I will still stand

Learning to live with the scars

Mending my heart with my own two hands

Your essence forever stamped upon my soul

Like a heavy bootprint

Squashing worms in the mud