• By Charissa Roberson

Riptide


The sky calls me forward.


I plant my feet on trembling boards,

A world racing, throbbing below.

Salt spit stings my toughened skin.

Wordless wind tears the breath from my throat.


Above me, canvas flaps like wings,

Frantically striving to catch the air,

Seeking control where none is found—

No seagulls fly where horizons burn.


The sky calls me forward.


Miles of drowning beneath my feet,

Leagues of blue before my gaze.

A million shades of green and grey,

A billion watts of unbleached light.


I squint my eyes and suck the air

And ride the buck of the hissing prow,

As dark blue swells, like tongues of glass,

Are sliced in two and foam curls back.


The sky calls me forward.

The primal wind hooks beneath my ribs,

Anchored somewhere beyond the sun,

Pulling me on with a strength like pain,

Deeper and deeper to the chasmic sky.


Charissa Roberson is a student of Creative Writing at Roanoke College. Her previously work has been published in The Elevation Review and is upcoming in Burnt Pine Magazine. When not writing, she loves reading, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and playing her fiddle.