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From the film reel in my skull
I extract a memory.
It flickers, alternating shades of light
You are holding my hand, and
Your fingers are long and cool.
My feet are wet, standing on stone
Tile by the poolside.
The hair, the thick, curled hair
That hung to my rear when I was small
Is warmed by the benevolent sun.
Sunlight ribbons waver over my skin .
Blue water ripples gently, and I
Poke my toes in; they turn pale,
Submerged in the warm chlorine.
Grandpa heaves my body
Over his shoulder
And promptly proceeds to the deep end.
I protest; my limbs don't know
What to do with themselves
I'm a land creature, yet to find
My inner mermaid.
Giggling, I hit the sparkling water
Reach the bottom, kick up
Clumsy, buoyant,
But traveling upward at
The speed of light...
I break the surface.
Cold indoor lights hit my eyes.
Chilled, sterile water clings
To my face, my hands, my body.
Kicking off the back wall,
I carefully stow the memory,
Back into the steel safe of my mind.
It's been twelve years.
And I cannot afford to dwell
On what is no longer in existence.

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