It caught you.
You swam out too late again, wondering if there was any weight to the wives tales you’ve heard all your life.
Two minutes, two days, two years. You don’t know how long it’s been eating you.
You had no reason to believe the warnings. Nothing ever happened to you. You swam, and nothing ever happened.
It’s gnawing into your femur. You’ve lost track of your fingers. All you know is that they’re too deep to feel. Too far.
It licks out the marrow in your pelvis, its rough, barbed tongue blistering hot. It keeps you hooked through your spine hole on its slimy belt. Every once in a while, you float upward and see its face.
No eyelids. Something so simple you took for granted, and it never had them to begin with. It misses nothing. Every iota of you is catalogued, down to the last vertebra, rib, tooth.
No lips. Its mouth is always open. You wish that it could smile, let you know you’ve been a good meal.
At least its hands caress your naked cranium, pointed fingers frigid as your death.
It took your jaw first, so you’d stop talking, stop breathing, stop screaming, stop wanting to, stop remembering how.
Its tail glides through the murk. It’s looking for your other foot to swallow.
Why didn’t you just listen? It took your ears, so you couldn’t hear the cracking or its heartbeat.
Too long. You fell for the jagged teeth that ripped you to splinters. You're jealous when it eats someone else’s spine. Doesn’t it remember yours?
Doesn’t it remember making breakfast out of your heart, wrapped in your thin, pliant skin? Your blood drained fast into the current. You're proud. It hates blood.
You were a good meal.
You deserve your belt hook. You deserve to hang around its neck next. You deserve to be its helmet, your hollow eyes above its own.
Maybe when you no longer know your bones, maybe when the last of your enamel is chipped away,
Your eyes would become the same, prowling the sea floor, missing nothing,
lying in wait for the next skeleton to become yours.