A few dry olive leaves would frequently float on the water Balanced at an angle in a pucker on the elastic surface The bottom of the pool was a light green blue made up of millions of tiles a centimeter wide No one could see the bottom of the deep end Even with bulbous thick glassed goggles it was a deep, deep turquoise a solid curled stone instead of fluid Thick white lines stretched into the turquoise with a sigh surface and curves bending sinuously over each other absorbent and velvet like, rippling with sheen like the back of a large, smooth fish Not like the sharp shapes of the Cheddar I ate after the swim. We used to toss smooth pebbles into the pool and dive down to see who was fastest in an endless, mindless cycle with a tunneling focus seconds, rolling on, adding up a slow voice measuring time calmly and then emergence, and a quick roiling piercing of sound. Never quite touching, those lines muffled sounds from each other like crackling fabric collecting into poison like her paints while he sits there and stares. One day a woman came to the edge of the pool Clutching a thin purple robe to her neck, flapping about the legs she took it off painfully exposing goosepimpled flesh and stepped into the water gingerly And there was a huge storm that night the next day the pool was wild when I dove in the water swirled around in my ears And I felt four eyes sliding over my wet back Avoiding eyes inside four walls with elongated lines sitting for silent meals except for an insistent bark They sat next to each other with a thick, sticky tar accumulating in the space. Floating on the water held up by a warm pressure with slivers of wind like thin muslin The sky never seemed wider or so big. But less than a mile away in a quiet house on an ivory day the black tar slowly poured, and enveloped them with a wet sound heard over several years They waited for it, and stood still and pristine, frozen, but with still warm breaths.
You all were so kind about my last poem that I got very excited and wrote another one. I know, am I rushing into things? Is this too soon? No one can tell, I’ll have to talk to my therapist about it. The image I have used here was created by the french illustrator, Belhoula Amir.
Anyway, this poem is about many things, as poems are wont to be, and among other things (my parents’ relationship), it is obviously about a pool. I used to go swimming in a big, outdoor swimming pool when I was a kid, and it had these mosaic like thick tiles all around it and curving into it. They were a cloudy celadon and would occasionally pop out, which is when my friends and I would use them for our diving game described above. The deep end was 19 feet deep, and I once dove into it the wrong way from the highest diving board and landed flat on my stomach with a big clap. I floated underwater for a few moments, stunned by the impact and the violent smarting on my stomach before managing to somehow paddle to the side, where I clung to the edge and floated gasping, dazed. I think the lifeguard at the pool was not very good, he mostly just used to lounge around and show middle-aged women how to move their arms and legs in a breast stroke. The ground around the pool was covered with brown, terracotta like tiles which were rough with a sandpaper like texture and grew darker when water fell on them. They would always be warm, even when it was cloudy, they would somehow soak up whatever heat they could and give off a lazy warmth. The feeling of them after getting out of the water is the most earthy feeling I have ever experienced.