Tread

Weightless in water we stayed suspended and listening to the muted pat tapping of the sky falling

 

gently onto the surface of the lake overhead.  The fluid was womb-warm and we couldn’t tell

 

where we ended and the lake began.  

 

The light scattered here, showing us nothing but moss green ahead and dark below.  On the

 

outside, above the ceiling of water, rain fell like rice on concrete, dull and musical and

 

inconsiderate of birds.  

 

Our arms moved through the water, pushing it in slow arcs around our bodies.  We had faith that

 

we were moving forward, but had no perception of progress.  Here was protected, impermeable

 

to the rain and the rest of the world.  

 

Here was infinite.  

 

I had faith in your presence the way I had faith in motion, but you were lost in a sea of

 

green.  Above, on the outside, thunder mumbled and a slightly brighter light pulsed once and was

 

gone, and that was all we knew of the storm around us.  

 

The lungs inside my chest grew heavy with stale and useless air,

 

and put pressure on me to leave here, to break through the surface of

 

the lake, where I would feel wind and rain and be subjected to the early morning’s grey light.  

 

I looked up, toward the pocked ceiling.  

 

Another flash of light. Another dull, roiling thunder.  More pup, pup, pup

 

of water tapping water.  The sky was knocking, calling me out.  

 

Maybe you were out there too,

 

but I was amorphous now, and I didn’t want definition.  

 

In love with my new viscosity, I waited.  My lungs waited.  

 

Just a little longer, I told them.  Just a little longer … 

Originally published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal: A Collection of Vignettes from Across the Globe 

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