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By Ivy C. Wagner

PROMPT — Who am I today?

Than all the sea which is only deeper than the sea 

— e.e. cummings

How deep? I asked.

My voice echoed through the waves.

They crashed onto the beach, washing away the sand,

the sand that had laid resting in anticipation for years.


More sand swiped away into the depths of an unforgiving ocean.


Swirling so slowly,

as it rotated counterclockwise,

almost like a sand tornado,

as it made its way 

deep, deep

into the darkness.

How deep? I asked again.

A deep I did not know.

It was deep, so deep, inside me.

The journey I was to walk.

I knew it. I saw it. I could describe it with details that made it jump from flat to animated.  

Yet, it had paused, my footsteps, my footprints had been washed away, 

Washed by the waves that crashed with power.

Not a power that expressed itself with magic - 

a magic inviting me into healing, transformation, the embodiment of the Dream.

No, it was a power that destroys, confuses.

A power that laid before me so many paths, except for the one I want.

And its voice taunted me.

What do you want now? It asked.

I felt courage rise inside of me, this purple sun that warmed my whole body, 

as I spoke with all my soul reverberating in five simple words.

"I want to go deep." 

And at that moment, as if the universe and its symbols 

were synchronized with the fullness of being inside me, 

a path emerged. Not one stretched out to the horizon.

It was one that went deep.

Deep into. Down into.

Through the sand, it burrowed itself.

Spiraling deep, deep into 

all the sea which only is deeper than the sea.

I took a deep breath and swam my journey deep into the sea.


During a high school sports physical, doctors told Ivy Wagner that she had cancer and would never be able to have children. On May 15th, 2020, Ivy is celebrating her 22nd year living cancer-free and her 4th year being a mom. Ivy is curious about the ways our life experiences, relationships and narratives shape our health. Fireflies, the crunch of cold grapes, giraffes, and crater lakes bring a smile to her face.


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