Friday, October 1, 2010

Swimming With You

I am floating in a backyard swimming pool when a memory comes back to me. . .

That you and I swam together in a pond formed after big spring rains - that I floated in the cool black water, and then I fell silent, listening to your strokes rumble in water-bound echoes. I can see you popping up from below the surface, bright brown-eyes, blinking sunrises, locking with mine.

Then you went under again. In the wake of your movements, I bobbed and sank a bit, moving just enough to hold position. I spoke after your submerging body in words that swam from my mouth like aimless fish.

A more complete quiet interjected itself as a witness that watched me as I watched you. You surfaced and called my name, making the sound of it ring from your full pink lips, telling me that the pond was deep. Your words tugged on me. What did I want to tell you? To ask you?

I know how water thins the membrane between body and mind. I can see backward into that time and feel its scratching pass, a subtraction, the drift of something escaping. Your wet skin- an image that shimmers. I can see you pausing for an instant. Then, gone.

This swim proved to be our last for that year. Weeks passed and, by August, we couldn't swim the brackish pond. Grasses choked even the deeper parts. And floating here today, I have come to find what I had wanted to tell you.

I let the words lift up to the sugar blue sky.

October 1, 2010