The Swim

leaving depression in locker 8E
grief wrapped up in a towel
heartbreak trembling on the lip of the pool
I dive in, unafraid, brave
immersing myself in the blues
that would usually make me sink
usually make me drown
washing paranoia out of my hair
and misery off my skin
with every stroke I am light and almost carefree
in this controlled, contained, waveless sea

frog legs pulsating
counting
in, two, three
breathing
out, two, three
it doesn’t matter who is faster than me
and my dwindling lung capacity
I am so very nearly free
inhaling chemicals legally
in, two, three
tears made of chlorine, not melancholy
out, two, three
no time to think, only to breathe
and push on, further, stronger
splash away the reality
that I must return to 8E eventually

the girl sits upon her throne in the sky
popping gum
the guy patrols the perimeter
tugging at his shorts
with their matching red t-shirts
matching whistles
matching sports watches
they watch me
in, two, three
and guard my life
out, two, three

these two strangers exist
to save me
they are employed to ensure
that I am safe
that I do not die

(I think that I need them all of the time)


Along with ‘The Swim,’ my poem ‘Inheritance’ is also published in issue #1 of Ghost Heart Literary Journal

You can download and read the whole issue, featuring 53 poems by 33 poets, by clicking this link: payhip.com/b/ngls 

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