I used to smell chlorine on my fingers
hours after I’d last been to the pool,
the smell of it a different kind of home.
Sure, it wasn’t the nicest of chemicals,
but it meant the water had carried my weight,
at least for a little while.
In high school I thought maybe
if I could still smell the water,
it could carry me through the day,
a rush of water coming to block the rest of the world
just like it rose to greet you on the first dive.
But I don’t smell it as much on my fingers
throughout the day,
and more and more the water doesn’t
rush to greet me.
Dives become plummets:
a home now wrecked with indifference.
Cold seeps into my body
often, quickly, without much warning.
Winter chills me with its
dismal skies and frost colored air
that infiltrates chlorine-dried skin.
In the summers I am warm,
when the sunlight becomes a hard, palpable thing
that burns away the cold, the sadness.
I wish I could live the remainder of my time
in days like that, when the cold
is but a distant memory and I do not shake.
The Impermanence of Sinking
Someone told me once
I shine as bright as the sun.
I laughed at that comparison:
myself to the sun whose brilliance
drowns relentlessly in the sea, night after night.
But I’ve learned sinking is not
the equivalent of drowning,
and I’ve seen the sun claw its way back,
dripping mist into a new dawn
over and over and over again.