I jump in and swim to the bottom.
I don't wait to see if you were ahead.
I don’t wait to feel the splash.
I sit here waiting at the bottom,
Waiting for you to come and give me breath.
I hold my breath and watch the colors.
I hold my breath and wait for you
You come, but do not let me breathe.
You drag me around and weigh me down,
Bringing me deeper and farther than I would ever go.
We swim, we play.
Before I know it, I am happily tied to the bottom.
I blink and find you swimming to the surface.
I thrash against at the ropes,
Trying to swim,
Trying to reach.
But it is too late.
You are already gone.
I sit here alone,
Sitting at the bottom.
For the first time,
I felt pressure clawing at my throat.
Wanting, needing to breathe
I sit alone alone,
Sitting at the bottom.
Wanting to leave for the first time ever.
I can’t sit here alone for much longer.
I claw and bite at the ropes,
I kick and scramble in the water.
I feel the shadow of your ghost grab at my toes.
Comforting, angering, painful.
I scream, cry, choke
Water filling my eyes
I sink, giving into the firm ghost arms.
I turn my head and try to breathe in your scent.
I choke, scream, cry,
Water filling my thoughts
I hate myself for letting you go.
I hate myself for hating myself.
I cry, choke, scream
Water filling my lungs
I hurt I crash
I can’t take it anymore.
I scream scream scream,
Water filling my heart.
I claw I kick
I scramble I fight
I reach reach reach.
Air finally comes.
The pure bliss of oxygen,
The pure terror of freedom.
The world looks different:
Not brighter, not darker but different.
Subtle at first, but then explicitly clear.
I no longer need reassurance,
I no longer trust freely
I no longer leap or jump,
I no longer leave me for last.
I no longer always find a reason to laugh.
I used to jump in and swim to the bottom,
Not noticing if you were there or following behind.
Now I pace around the pool checking carefully:
Dip a toe in to test the waters.
If I go in, will you follow?
If I go in, will you come out?
What if it thunders?
What if it lightnings?
How long until the lifeguard blows the whistle?
What if I stay in the pool?
What if I get in the pool with you
Get comfortable get happy?
And slip and fall and can never get out?
If stay where its dry,
If I stay on the outside,
I can’t get hurt.
You can’t drown me without water.