My Blue Heaven

Rebecca Elmore

 

Sitting on the ledge,

I hesitantly plop into the water.

Today is good.

Its cool, not like bathwater.

I take a deep breath,

allow myself to go under.

 

My toes scrape concrete

as I push off the wall,

arms extended overhead.

I wait until I see

the familiar rectangular vent

in the corner of my left eye,

my self-designated place

to rise.

A tiny gasp for air.

 

No saltwater today, I observe.

Another breath

Im face down again,

arms propelling,

rhythmically rocking,

toes pointed,

legs methodically kicking.

I am mesmerized

by kaleidoscope images

created by the impact of my blades.

 

Silently counting in my head,

blocking out babies crying,

promising not to do

whatever caused them to be

subjected to their perceived torture,

the lifeguard tweeting,

the ohhs and ahhs from the diving board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I reach the wall.

Red Shorts says, How it going?

A fake smile creeps out,

and I pretend not to see

his rampant black back hair.

A quick tug at the suit from two years ago,

Another breath and Im under.

Forty-nine more laps to go.