Depth to my Body

Mia Parola

I wanted to swim through a fountain inside myself

and kick laps around shallowed water,

allow each stroke to jet me forward but not deeper

so the tilt of my head could still fill me with easy air.

For reward I wished to erupt whimsically into the sky

from an upward faucet,

like the one that lights and spews cold fireworks into dull dusk

while I drive down Main Street Bridge. 

If it were a diving board, 

I would plummet myself from it,

down to be congratulated by that dancing water

who’s droplets shine like clear cut diamonds

that hit as they fall from bursts above.


When I do jump into the water of myself,

no light show greets me at the surface.

the splash I send into the sky is lost, maybe nonexistent 

against the open waters that meet me 

and reshape my body under a new murk.

I’m not prepared for the lack of lap lanes to help me forward

and begin to sink down into myself,

falling through the ocean as a diver.

Lost in drowning panic, it’s easy to forget how to breathe

from the tank that is my lifeline as I fall

like a tossed boulder until the final depth.


The seafloor catches me where I never wanted to reach,

sixty-five feet down and alone with myself

almost. Sunlight oddly sends scattered rays all this way down

that swim with the water as they reflect from sand.

No fountain spews artificial bursts of color,

but patches of neon coral are explored by schools of fish

I hadn’t known could exist

but am close enough to swim along with, learn the ways of.


Each time bubbles gush from my mouth,

I watch them travel up desperately

and race to spew at the surface, but I make no struggle upward.

I am not sunk but have gained power to beat out my own waves 

in every direction of my body and mind, every inch I can possibly extend itself.