I hate the expression knight-in-shining armor.

dragon of the sea

You're no knight and I'm no damsel.

I'm in distress and I can handle it.

And I'm sea, I'm river, I'm swamp, I'm storm.

And you wear your armor alright, but it sure isn't to slay any dragon – their heads sit on my lap and they purr and respond to their names and don't even dare touching them.

That's when you bring it up to your eyes – a round metal shield, dirty and beaten up. And all I can see in the reflection are my eyes staring back at me.

I relish in the changes, I demand to feel and be felt.

You act like Manannan in bone and flesh, but you dare venture in the water and you don't want to get wet?

Where I'm the waves, you're the rock. 

You stand still and tall and you let me dive

and dive

and dive

until I almost drown.

Then you rise from the quicksand you made your fears out of

                               and you pick me up and throw me over your shoulder.

We reach the land and I choke in your arms as the water leaves my lungs

                               and I look up... and I can see it washing over you.

I FEEL LIKE

MEDUSA

WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME

LIKE THAT.

YOU REVERT

BACK INTO STONE

AND I'M LEFT

AGAIN AT SEA

LIKE A SIREN

LOOKING FORWARD
TO WRECK HAVOC

UPON A SHIP.

I can't promise you calm seas

or safe docks, 

nor the warmth of the sun. 

I won't apologize

for how the lightening strikes

during a storm.

I BRIM

AND I BURN  

LIKE THE INSIDE

OF THE EARTH.

I'm not a damsel,

I'm the dragon itself. 

I FIND HOME

IN DARK WATERS

AND I COME OUT 

BREATHING A FIRE

SO FIERCE,

IT TURNS YOUR ARMOR

INTO ASHES.

dragon of the sea

overflown writing by Lara Carvalho

in Salvador, Bahia, 2016.

illustrated for web by Lara Carvalho,

in Salvador, Bahia, 2020.

CREDITS: [list other credits here]