The swim


The water was cold. It sluiced across my back in cold chords of liquid muscle. It was the ocean, and never anything else. Even when I kicked and the water flew high into the air, the spray fell, glinting, back to be the ocean again.

I swam through the ocean and I was weightless, cool, fluid. The ocean entered through my nose, my ears, my eyes. The membrane of my skin encouraged a greater osmosis. I blew. My bubbles rose to the surface and popped.

When I was finished, I swam as close to the shore as I could, but when my belly scraped the rocky bottom I had to stand on wobbly legs. To balance my small flat feet was unreasonably difficult, but I managed to propel myself up the sloping beach to my towel, where I collapsed, wet and limp in the dry sun. That was when I noticed my eyes. They rolled in their sockets with the rhythm of the waves. They would not focus on the fixed objects of land. A stream of salt water poured out of my nose. Sea weed tangled in my hair. Surprisingly I did not vomit out a live fish. My sea change, this time, was a mild one.

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