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when i was shipwrecked, i thought of you

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your first time is a riptide
crashing over you like the waves you can hear outside the open window
taking your giddy, girlish breath away
along with your innocence
so exhilarating you can’t see it’s pulling you into its current
dragging you out to sea
you gasp for air, but your lungs fill with water
you cry for help, but your shouts bubble weakly to the surface


your second first time is a lifeboat
showing up just in time, the only thing that will save you
you paddle like your life depends on it, because it does
you yearn and struggle to reach it, to be rescued, to be seen
it isn’t until the sun goes down that you can see nothing is there
it was a mirage
all your strength, wasted
every fiber of your being, shipwrecked


your last first time is a shoreline
shimmering in the distance over the horizon
a familiar sight but a foreign concept, a hope you’d given up on
your faith as lost as you are
you close your eyes and take the deepest breath you can muster
memories flash behind your eyelids
reminding you of the time and energy you lost in pursuit of the lifeboat that wasn’t
you pray to a god you aren’t sure you believe in anymore
and you swim till you reach dry land
the beach accepts you as you are
a sunburnt, spirit-worn heap of bones
it’s salvation
it’s new life
it’s a second chance
it’s rebirth
it’s holy