Editor’s note: “Writings & Ruminations” is a series of prose and poetry written by the UW community, curated by Arts + Culture Editor Natalie Roy.
I find it difficult to translate the longing,
To describe the harpoon lodged in my chest
To the doctors with their scalpels.
I tell them of a ceaseless wanting,
And they tell me of blood loss.
How can I make you understand?
How can I describe the pain
In a way that is legible to you?
It’s like this:
I’ve never seen the sea,
But I know it’s out there.
I know because others have seen it, yes,
But also because I’ve dreamed of it,
Since long before I had the language
To name it,
To pin it down.
I want to see it for myself.
I want to feel the sand under my feet.
I want to feel cool water on my skin,
To feel the salt sting in all my broken places.
I want to feel the world, like a word,
On the tip of my tongue.
Like most people,
I want to live.
Pain is the wrong word.
It’s not pain,
It’s the absence of joy;
And the desire to hold it,
Warm and real,
In my calloused hands.
Ari Snyder is the Podcast Editor of The Daily and is also an undergraduate with the class of 2023 who is majoring in English literature.
Interested in submitting? Review the guidelines and submit unpublished short form prose and poetry here.