When my pulse stopped beating, the rivers ran dry first.
Water draining, veins emptying all the way to the heart.
My extremities were next.
With the silk’s ebb, my edges are nothing but desert islands in the melting sun.
Further in, my limbs are dead and dying, callousing at the surface like driftwood, baking alive, held buoyant only by my saline brine.
If you want, you can see them wash up on shore from time to time.
And the rest of me — my halite crystals, my salt flurries, my calcium deposits, my glittering pearls, and my limestone cliffs — is too, close to drying.
I know what’s happening to me. I’m not blind.
They say I am exsiccating, retreating into my salt.
I can’t stop it, I can’t outlast it, and I can’t slow it down.
All I can do is surrender to the asphyxiation of its upward lift, where the water realizes flight.
I want to tell them I’m not ready. I need more time.
But I’m almost completely naked now. My bones are showing, blistering in the sun and glistening white.
And when my alkaline body finally loses both of its shores, there will be nothing anyone can do.
Don’t look at me like that. I tried to flood.
I reared and I lurched, I swelled and I stormed, I threw my salty ale ten times my length like a javelin onto the beach and shore.
And yet, even so, I’m still dying of thirst; still parched, sapped, scorched.
This milky brine is something my sands for some reason can no longer absorb.
Gravity is moving, I can feel it. The tectonic plates are shifting beneath my feet. The lateral pull is only getting stronger. It won’t be long now.
When the water recedes far enough, everyone will see what happened to me, will understand the reason for the drought.
But I’m worried things will get lost in translation. That the truth will be amiss.
After all, who will even think to look for my bones in a place like this?
Though, I suppose I’m looking too far ahead. The second hand still ticks.
My thread remains whole, and the spindle of the spinning wheel still spins.
For now, I just continue to desiccate, to mummify.
But before I evaporate, before I dry,
One must first ask the question:
Can a dead sea die?