drowning (because maybe you’ll meet me down there at the bottom of the ocean)
You were always a good swimmer, weren’t you?
We would go to swimming lessons together when we were six and
I was always afraid to jump into the deep end but
You had no hesitation because
You knew you could handle it.
You would jump in and
Look back up at me with
Eyes still squinting closed from the water
Hair dripping wet and
Breath washed away by the sunlight dancing off your reflection,
Air rushing in and out like you couldn’t get enough of it, and
You’d hold out a hand and say
“What are you waiting for? Come on, it’s not that bad, I’ll catch you.”
And we both knew you wouldn’t be able to catch me but
I jumped in anyway because
I knew you’d never let me drown and anyway I
Couldn’t resist you.
You’d never let me drown.
But you were always the better swimmer and
Sometimes you have to save yourself first.
Anyway I’m rambling but now when I
See you I
Sometimes feel like I’m drowning.
I see six-year-old you with
Dripping-wet hair and
Out-stretched arms and
Sugar-sweet smile and
I see you now with
Hair that shimmers and
Eyes that look through me and
When you look at me I
Sometimes feel like you’re inspecting me
Under a microscope and you’re about to
Pull me apart and tell back to me all the things I’m too scared to admit
To myself and to the world.
You were never too scared to admit anything
And you were never ashamed
Not of yourself
Not of me.
Anyway I know you don’t think of me much anymore but
I see you sometimes and when I say hello you
Say hello back and it leaves me with a feeling like I
Don’t know if I’m flying or
You’d never let me drown
Unless my drowning meant that
You’d grow wings and
You already have them so
I guess it’s a lost cause and I guess
I’ll never know what it feels like to float and
I’ll never know what it feels like for you to catch me but
I know what it feels like to have you look up at me
Eyes full of chlorine and mirth and
I know what it feels like to drown on dry land because
I’m drowning in the memory of you and
We’re both helpless to stop it but
If this is drowning
It isn’t so bad.