September 17th
by devanshi singh

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September 17th, 6:55 PM
“The lake is actually a massive sinkhole, 
an underwater cave system, it runs 
140 feet deep and 4,300 feet long.”

My voice runs dry, out of air, over sunlight stung stones that line the sinkhole,

they jump up and down and try to keep us out,

others use it to plunge into unfriendly waters,

it catches their plummeting bodies,

engulfs it, drowns it into the sapphire oblivion that stares back at them.

I can see you’re not listening, your chest bared, hands trembling,

there's too much adrenaline,

it makes me smile.

You jump.

September 17th, 7:15 PM

“Divers need a special permit to enter, 

the danger usually keeps them out,

and a metal grate that rests 40 feet into the hole.”

The splinters of a metal grate are embedded in the flowing silt,

they crowd our vision, the darkness doesn’t forgive either,

I can still see you, hear the water draw you in deeper, you don’t stop,

not even when we pass the metal gates 

and enter the endless maze,

you swim past the jagged edges that scream danger,

I try to follow the trail you leave, engulfed in a spiral that leads you down,

it’s getting harder to breathe,

I’ve lost you.

September 17th, 7:55 PM

“The limited capacity of oxygen tanks causes trouble,

when you’re lost and trying to navigate

the long, twisting cave system.”

I search for you in the hidden folds of water, 

it traps me and swallows up the tears,

I don’t scream, the air will run out any second,

darkness falls all over again, 

it hides all hope that doesn’t glimmer,

each second, I wait for the waters to part,

for your figure to surface, to lead us back,

denial sweeps me deeper,

I realize you aren’t coming back.

September 17th, 8:45 PM

“The ‘false chimney’ is a partial tunnel 

that looks like it goes to the surface,

but leads to nowhere but death for many divers.”

I tell myself you tried to come back up, searched for me,

I wonder where you were when I gave up, the moment

we both realized exactly how it was going to end.

If you weren’t already gone,

I hope you realized I wasn’t coming back.

I wonder if fear lit up your eyes, if you looked out for a hand to hold.

Nothing hurts, red lights spot my vision, 

I barely see anything,

they finally find you.

October 1st, 6:55 PM

The lake doesn’t give people back.

There's nothing around me but drowned ruins,

of what should’ve been. I waited a long time,

before I realized I didn’t want you back.

When the sunlight came bursting in 

through the trees and lit its fire in your eyes,

I could see you didn’t want to be here at all, 

even though there were promises made,

and things to do, people and places to see.

it was never a mistake, and maybe

you’re exactly where you want to be.

devanshi singh

Resident Writer

Devanshi Singh has always loved words and their ability to transform and empower people so completely. They are a seventeen-year-old writer, and their work reflects their experiences with fluidity, growth and change – and how we can find beauty in that. They hope to make art out of their words that will make people feel alive, and look for the beauty they wouldn’t normally notice.

lorena horng

Resident Artist

Lorena is a student from Texas, USA with a love for all things visual arts. She spends most of her free time either painting or staring at paintings, and can often be found wandering around a grocery store or finding thematic parallels between modern art and art history.