Plain China

Swimming Lessons

by Rose Wunrow · Swarthmore College
"Ocean", Miyuki Blois · Northeastern University

I remember the pool where I first learned to swim.

Blue as the dark and wider than dream. I do not know

if they threw me in. I do not remember if they said,

“You cannot breathe water. You weren’t born fish.” –

but I remember, last December, gasping under a vast

dark sky, thinking I cannot go on like fish.

I remember, in biology, pumping a sheep’s lung full of water

until it burst. What do you do when you try to sustain yourself

on someone who reminds you of an absence of air?

Try to bail out your breathless vitals. Wish you had learned

the signs, or at least remembered them – but all I remember

is how blue was the pool, how helpless it made me feel

how strange it is to think swimming comes more natural

than drowning.

 

About the Author

Rose Wunrow · Swarthmore College

Rose Wunrow is a recent graduate of Swarthmore College, where she studied history, French, and English Literature with an emphasis in writing short fiction. She grew up in the Fiji Islands and currently lives in New Zealand. "Swimming Lessons" first appeared in Swarthmore Review

About the Artist

Miyuki Blois · Northeastern University

Miyuki Blois studied Marketing at Northeastern University. "Ocean" first appeared in Spectrum