I don’t know if it’s me
or some other version of me pretending to feel like my body,
that’s holding my breath under chlorinated water
but looking around at the blue raspberry land of the pool,
while I tell myself trying to fall asleep underwater will expand my lungs,
a strategy which might have worked for Kevin Costner’s character
but as I had no lungs,
only proved further that I was more firmly attached to being human,
I can’t help but believe my choice is not my choice
that through a frantic kicking of feet and a sputtering of water,
followed by coughing on a warm concrete that just a few dives later,
I picked my big toenail off of where I came to
really appreciate my body for what it was — and what it was, was vulnerable —
someone or something else is looking to take my next breath.
Just get real I tell myself,
sure that I have nothing more important to do than be here now.
But the truth is I simply don’t want to acknowledge something very sad,
strapping the self you want to leave behind on your back
before heading off into the woods
you’ll spend the rest of your golden years trying to unzip your way out of, probably,
believes a heavy dose of righteous suffering is a good benchmark
for what it meant to live a trippingly successful life,
that if you could continue thinking about loving and being loved,
then someone or something would eventually save you from yourself.
There’ll come a time when romantic love will no longer swoop in
and carry you off into the sunset over His shoulder.
There’ll be nowhere to go, no woods to walk off of, no way to follow,
there’ll be no way or desire to kill yourself or write about pondering
whether or not you should. There’ll just be you.