And Living


ago
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readings
35
Finalist
Jury
And I ran
The pavement yet warm, though the sun had long sunk
And my feet struck the ground and the breeze tossed my hair
Never slowed
Never thought better

And leapt, fingers scraping the thick, cloudless sky
The stars pushed me in.

The rush of water in my ears as I plunged
Drowned every voice in my head
Chlorine swaddled me, soaked my shirt and my jeans and
My lungs seemed to sink in relief
As I floated to the bottom

Not swimming

Not thinking

Not breathing.

Just being.

And feeling
The weight of the water and I
weightless in comparison.
A lifetime later I breach, ungasping
And taste the water, the sickly sweet air
And lay at the surface, just a i m l e s s l y floating
Not swimming, not thinking

Just breathing

and living.

The water clung to me, it grasped at my clothes and my skin
And wanted me there.

I went home.
still breathing
35

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