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The Swimming Pool

Lorna Crozier
From:   Everything Arrives at the Light. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1995


I used to be such
a swimmer, surface diving
to the loud blue hum around the grates,
following the lines and cracks
that led to a cave I could
never find the entrace to,
ears aching. All summer

without shoes, my feet
brown otters pulled me
from the earth. There was a
birth-gleam all over me,
a loss of language, my mouth
an anemone that opened, closed,
my sex unfurling in the broken
light that stroked me underwater.

Now the ticket window's boarded up
and barbed wire bites
the wooden fence I used to climb
at night to be alone
in the blue-green shimmer
stretched taut by moonlight.

Sometimes a boy dropped
from the darkness
above the diving board
and swam beside me, a strange boy
I'd never seen at school.
We moved together, a pair of wings
unfolding, my new breasts
in his mouth or the mouth of the water.

By late August, beetles fell
from somewhere in the sky,
the click of their bodies
on cement like seconds ticking.
My fingers drummed down his belly
as we counted them.

I splashed and tumbled
through every morning lesson
and told no one
I was there
where I shouldn't have been
at night, beetles falling
like walnuts from a tall black tree.



Lorna Crozier's works copyright © to the author.


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