Thursday, June 25, 2015

swandive



it couldn't have gone any differently.
i still believe that.
i was already taking off my shoes
when i reached the bank.

i had never seen anything like it, before.
that blue.
as if it had pulled in
pieces of the sun
and smothered them before they knew they had gone under,
still pouring a surprised light.

it's deep,
they told me.
it is so deep
that nobody knows where the bottom is.

people have gone in, of course,
because it's hard not to.
their bodies have never been found.

so i looked at it again.

it's just a river, i said.

i've been in so many rivers before.
i love rivers.
i love how they surge around you;
how they take you on their course;
how they curl around every part of you
and fill you so full
and you laugh and you sputter
and you bruise on a couple of boulders, maybe,
on your way out,
but in all fairness --
you dove in for the ride, and you like it rough.
and then there's the shore.
and you dry off,
because that's enough for now.
and soon you forget that river's flash and turn.

anyway --
if i really needed to, i said,
i could get out.
it's not so wide.

so i jumped in.

and now
i don't remember what it felt like
not to drown.
there must be others down here with me,
but they have not found me,
and it's so much darker than it looked from up there.

up there.

where i can see her face, now,
so lovely and so curious,
watching the way the water moves.

stand back, beautiful girl, stand back --
but i can't make sound.
my lungs are so full of this river.

and she smiles
because i am pouring a surprised light
as beguiling as wormwood and night breeze and fireflies.
and she's thinking, as she pulls off her shoes,

it's just a river.


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