by Natasha Effendy


I’ve always feared,

the innocence

of swimming pools,

for their masked abilities

to accidentally drown you.

i dip my toes

into the icy,

chlorine-treated water,

and lowered my body

into its silky surface.


i submerge myself

deeper underwater,

holding my breath

my nostrils flare,

releasing bubbles.


count with me-



blue clouds my vision,

an overwhelming blue,

almost blinding,

as the surface glints

ever so iridescent

hoax colours,

like those cowering

behind a shield

of self-assured happiness.


as i lay still,

i float

like i’m being

carried back onto land.


i feel lighter,


but emotionally,

i stiffen-

i hug my knees

to my chest,

forcing my body

to sink;

to briefly skim the tiles,

so that

i’m my own anchor,


i scream,

my rage shapes itself

into fits of bubbles,

but I don’t see it

do that.


i keep screaming,

determined to

let it all out,

even if it’s muffled,

even if the water chokes me

and burns my throat

and leaves my head dizzy,


perhaps this

momentary death

distracts me,

a refuge

like a hug should.


I punch the tiles,

wishing it were

a wall that will break,

crack; anything really.

i scream and thrash,

my limbs flailing

as my hair gets

in the way,

weightless in the

cool water.

i lose myself,

hands on my head

as i sob,

my tears disappearing

into the waters,

because this feels

like a void

i can see.


i let myself go,

allowing the upthrust

to take over me.

my head breaks through

the surface

and I desperately

gasped for air

after all that screaming

in an abyss

where no one

heard me.

then I float,

my hair clings to my skin,

completely drenched

and leaving me cold

i don’t care;

leave me be

as I extend my limbs

and caress the

small waves,

the interference

i’ve made

in this calm

swimming pool


the water seeps into

my ears

distorting my hearing,

blocking out

the world,

but I just need to

savour the sun

on my skin

and how light I feel,



and emotionally.

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