The Ocean and the Jungle

Katrina Kaye

This is not the first time
we radiate across the same room.
Not the first time,
I glance up only to notice your eye
chasing mine,
the same twist on both our lips
as though we share the joke.

The space of a whisper
separates our bodies,
yet I never dared
to reach for your dock,
to set my flag upon your beach.

I thought perhaps your
breath blew me back.
Now I realize,
I am sea,
you, land.
But you are no coastline.

My fingers will never lap
gently upon your shore.
You are jungle,
Amazon, Congo, Daintree.
Mile upon mile
of thick brush and green vines,
seeping into walls,
encompassing territory,
claiming continents as your own,
thousands of miles from my reach.
You are the green eyed leopard
stalking the shadows;
the camouflage anaconda
coiled on the limb.
You creep,
believing to be veiled in obscurity.

I am Ocean.
Spreading identity around earth,
oblivious to entrapment of soil and rock.
I am Charydbis
twisting mass to watery grave,
dark waves, white capped,
unblinking eyes,
over three rows of teeth.
I am Tsunami,
uninhibited in my aggression,
not afraid to throw myself at your coast.
Refusing to accept you are beyond reach.

On the new moon,
my tide rises into atmosphere
and parts of myself,
in the guise of drizzles and drops,
slip inside you.
Sideways glances and lingering breaths,
storm your deepest ravines,
providing small
suggestions of my body
dripping over your outstretched palms.

You feast on me,
ravishing, consuming,
taking what you need to strive,
then you drain me out
and send me running home.
In lingering humidity,
you wait
for me to fall on you again.

I used to wonder why
I could only surround your mass
and never truly entwine you.
Now I know,
we have already bathed in each other
for a life time.


“The Ocean and the Jungle” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories like that Anymore (2011).

2 thoughts on “The Ocean and the Jungle

  1. Wow. The tone, the imagery, simile, metaphor, etc. A whole lot of things going on there. I will have to read it a few more times. It is beautiful. And, “we have already bathed in each other
    for a lifetime” just blew me away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Terry! This is an older one which I’ve shared a few times, but I don’t think it ever connected with anyone the way it has with you. I am thrilled you liked it.


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