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Dec 2017
Two years ago,
I started drowning
It wasn’t bad
At first
A little tightness
In my lungs
But nothing too bad

One year ago,
I was still drowning
The air wasn’t coming
Back into my lungs
Only ice cold
Freezing water
Blackness started
Edging into my vision
But I ignored it
Because no one else around me
Was drowning
So there was no reason why
I would be, unless
I was weak
I wasn’t weak
I wasn’t drowning
Or so I said

Six months ago
I started drowning
For real, this time
There was no denying
The fact that my hands
Were turning grey
And my lungs were crying out
But my blue lips
Didn’t part to
Let out that scream
And my grey limbs wouldn’t
Flail to show someone,
Anyone at all
That I was drowning

Five months ago,
I kept drowning
I was now far from the surface
Of the water
Where it was light blue
And warm in the
Shallow ends of this water
I had far surpassed that
I was in arctic water
Deep and cold
Murky and unfathomable
Drowning, and not making
A single sound

Thirty-six days ago
I gave into drowning
Well, I had given into it
When I decided that
Greying skin and blue lips
Was fine, for me
But now, I completely gave in

Thirty-six days ago,
I wanted to drown
But I wanted to do it faster
And so I tried to hurry up
The process of drowning
Alone, in those icy waters

Thirty-four days ago
Someone dangled an oxygen mask
In front of my blue lips
They told me to put it on
But I didn’t want to

Drowning was like anything else
Once you had spent enough time
In it, you became afraid
Of what it would be like
Without it

I knew drowning
I knew its pain, I became friends with it
I was comfortable with drowning
And I knew the outcome of it
And I was okay with it

Thirty-three days ago,
Someone jumped into that awful water
Or perhaps they didn’t
Jump in, they swam over
They forced the mask between my lips
And then they stayed
It came loose, a couple times,
And I found other people who were drowning
I hated that they were drowning
But I think that we were all a little glad
To find that we weren’t alone
In our drowning

I’ve kept my oxygen mask
I’m still in that cold water
But now I have others who make sure
That I don’t drown
And I make sure that
Their masks are affixed
They do the same for me
We save each other

And now that I have
Enough air to breathe
I can see, and I can see
Other people who
Are starting to drown

So I take all my effort and energy
And I swim to them
Most of the time, they don’t have a mask
And it hurts me to see that they’re drowning
So I give them my mask
For as long as they need
Until they have their own
Sure, it hurts me, but as long as it helps them

A while ago,
I started drowning
I kept drowning for a while
But then I found others
And together, we found our way
We found our oxygen tanks
We’re still drowning
But now, we can take in enough air
To sometimes swim
A bit closer to the surface
A bit closer to
Not drowning
A bit closer
To real life
And no matter how far we fall
The others will help us start going
To the light blue, peaceful water
Water that we won’t drown in
Written by
Jay  F
     Anna, Ben Kaw and ---
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