Swim Lessons

Poetry by Christin Hardee

I laid in bed, arms crossed across my chest,
my legs and feet hugged at the ankles, like
when you go down a water slide or lie
inside a coffin in the ground. I liked
the stillness and the warmth of fellowship
with darkened space when I remembered Ships

and Sailors at swim lessons many years
ago and a small friend who wore a swim cap
to keep her brain inside her head in case
she cracked it open. Trapped under a cap-
sized float, I told her that I’d cracked my head
on tables twice. By now, I’ve cracked my head

on tables thrice – and more on walls and doors
and problems. She would hate to hear my brain
spilled out without a cap – the slimy pink
ooze glued my hair like gum. I tried in vain
to fill the hole and cut the skin with pink-
ing shears to stave off any fray, but hole-
heads crack concentrically and spread the whole

damn skull no matter what you do. I trip
on rocky sidewalks, streetlight posts, the seam
of solitude, and more pink ooze falls on
the ground. See, Happiness is there and Dream
a few steps back and Memory is lying
just one street over, and I’d be lying

to say I miss them so; they’re loud and big
and nice, and I am not. But I do wish
I’d caught them with a swim cap. That way, I
could get them back without the need to fish
out bits of dirt and gravel, scrape them off
cement, and place them back into an off-

putting environment. So I would not need to
kneel down in pools of sanguine silence to
collect them all as specimens to look
at in a lab. But now I crouch in two-
lane traffic daily, pondering aloud,
light shining through the cracks like through the clouds.

About the Author:

Christin Hardee (Poetry) is a senior at Johns Hopkins University majoring in Public Health and minoring in Writing Seminars. She is from Cypress, Texas and works in research.

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