when I was 11, I learned how to drown.
it’s simple to learn but
when a living body enters chlorinated water
for the first time
all it wants is to understand how to stay
while all the magic swirls underneath.
when I was 11, all I wanted was to sleep
under this water,
sunlight and leaves suspended above me,
casting rippling shadows
on my bright blue bed.
it looked peaceful. I’d never heard
a silence like this before. curiosity nipped
at my vaguely thrashing ankles.
I closed my eyes,
and completely still, I
enough to feel the
waterline on every pore of my face
that got colder
until I submerged.
when I was 11, I learned that to remain under,
like a coin tossed hopefully
into a fountain, you have to let the living
breathe out. sink.
the pool’s tiles are surprisingly cold.
my parents came running,
jumped in, ripped me out
of my peace and disturbed
the leaves and settling sunlight.
“what are you trying to do?”
“do you want to get hurt?”
“are you alright?”
“come on, let’s get you some food.”
“do you want anything to drink?”
“are you feeling cold?”
I was 11. I was miffed.
all I was doing was searching for quiet,
and now the world was noisier than
when I was 11, I chewed my fries in silence,
under a warm towel,
suddenly quite tired.