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The States of Water: The States of Being


I’m cold behind my ice. 

Its sounds scratch and scrape; with them, I shiver, freeze, and break. Restless, I feel constant unease. I move slowly, pick up energy, generate my own heat. 

But I can’t generate, regenerate.

I conform to my shape, chiseled out by winds of cool: not heat or warmth or light, but words so cruel.

My ice breaks, chips, and cracks. It becomes indented with stress: I do wrong, I say wrong, I feel wrong. I crack.

I am stagnant, frozen. I don’t flow. My head—it slows. And brain—freezes. Its its thoughts are fragments of ice, its particles. They are pain. They are ache. Slow slow sorrow. They scratch, chip away, refuse to flow—the solid state is stagnant; why can’t it flow? Why can’t I flow?

I’m not water.

I don’t move. I stick, stuck. My words fail. Fail to scrape and escape the cold. They thaw only to thicken. Thicken with the cold of doubt, the hailstorm of criticism. 

I reach for the light, but the shiver and shake… while others flow, I remain in my single state. Solid. Stagnant. Still and stiff. Any sudden move could crack and blister my ice. It’s already scarred with permanent indentations: cracks and scrapes, haunting breaks, fears and doubts and pains. Memories—my memories—memories of me that wake in the wake.

I long for the light. I reach only to crack and crumble, crack and crumble, crack and crumble—I cry. My tears freeze over too quickly—tears as impossible as water.

I cry, crack, and crumble. But I move. Closer to the light, closer to the warmth, the melt. I feel it near, transparent as ice but just as clear.

I warm, I give way and relax, move closer now closer to a state of flow.

I break the ice.

I flow; I know.

I am water.

5 comments on “The States of Water: The States of Being

  1. Blu says:

    Water is like society or community; we don’t conform with that usually, and are our stagnant and frozen selves, but when we finally move into the light — finally mingle with our flowing communities where it’s warm and friendly, we learn to flow ourselves — like water 💧 Great piece, Gabriel!


    1. gcrone14 says:

      Thank you so much, Blu! This is a lovely interpretation of the poem! I couldn’t agree more! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the alliteration of “cry, crack, and crumble” as it really paired with the flow of your words. I also think that using audio for your piece was an excellent choice because the sounds of ice and water really helped to get me into your liminal space.


    1. gcrone14 says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you loved the sounds (both of the piece and of the audio)!!


  3. Miske Ahmed says:

    Gabriel, I will never get tired of how beautifully you connect words together. The audio aspect was so cool and the noise element. It was as if I was sitting right in front of you. Thank you for sharing! It was a privilege to be on the same panel as you. As always, keep on writing!


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