I draw a line
My finger digs deep into the sand taking out a nice long straight line
That isn’t really my own even though I made it
The line that I cannot cross
The line that keeps me from making mistakes
Doing the things that will get me burned

The sand behind the line is wet and smooth.
Keeps the bottom of my feet safe
Safe is the word I have chased after
For as long as I can remember.
When I see that word I run after it leaving
Footsteps deep in the sand

I trip up
I expose
My mouth leads me to fail
To turn words into mistakes
I step back yet again to draw another line
This line
Drawing right over my mouth

That word again
I run and run after.

The water brushes the middle of my calf
A wave of prickles up my legs
My legs are straining to keep balance
And my feet are numb
I have moved back so far
But I cannot cross
Love, Laughter, Lines

Wind, Waves, Balance
The ground
My cheek
Every piece of grimy sand
The water washes it all away
Another slip up; another line.

The waves crashing
My back
Gives way

I’m drowning
I don’t remember
The last time
The warmth
The burn
A breath of fresh air

There’s another wave
I fight through it
But seaweed
Dragging me down

I can’t escape
I fight and fight
But the surface
Always just out of

I give up
I sink
I fight

It’s too cold now
I dissolve
I become water
There is no fight
Against the tide

Left in these limbs
I can’t move
I can’t breathe
I give up

Black spots jump on my eyes
Continuous cycles
No end

A shock
A small ray
Alive with
Hanging from it

I forget for just a moment the paranoia
The smallest tide comes along
Faint like a whisper
But still enough to feel it
A will to live

I start upwards
My leg muscles strain against
The more and more I fight
The more I realize they are still just lines.

I swim to the sand
Lie on the shore
I breathe in intoxicating air
Brain awakening
The realities of why I threw myself into the sea
I try to push it out

The next moment
It fills my lungs again
Without my consent
Bringing everything back to life
The thoughts come crashing
An avalanche
Tumble in the sand
The air breaking down
The wall
The water
Created to keep them away

I am tempted to throw myself back in
I remember the cold
My limbs going numb
Water filling lungs
Just as the air
Without consent
Leaving me
No control

I get up
I try to cross a line

Another burn
Another step back
The cycle
Starts all over again.

Doing the same thing over and over
And expecting a different outcome

But I do not know
To get off the beach
To stop from getting burned
To breathe salt stained air
To get sunscreen
To swim in an ocean
Constantly trying to drown me.

So I just keep drawing
Then drowning
Then swimming
Then drawing
Then drowning
Then swimming.

I wonder if I even want to leave the beach
This is all I’ve ever known
The sand
Running along the arches of my feet
Makes me feel safe
I run and run after
The sound of waves crashing a lullaby
I’ve grown fond of
The warmth of the sun on my skin
The smell of salt in the air

As I realize that this
Kept me from escape
I close my eyes
Take a deep breath

Yet this time
I let the air truly consume me
The unknown
I let it
Trickle life
To this exhausted frame
And as I breathe out
I let go

Hope giving me one last chance
I get up
I draw yet another line in the sand
One that is curved
Unfolding a shape
I cannot understand

A flower forming
No blooming
My fingertips.

A new path or another loop
But a change all the same

I dig my finger deep into the sand
Satisfied as I curve it into something my own

Writer | Grace Escoe ’26 |
Editor | Emma Burd ’26 |