What I Think About When I Swim

By Jasmine Mallinger

My body is weightless and immobile,

Floating into the vast expanse-

Beyond waves

I float in one perfect linear action towards the empty

Everyone around me is white noise.

I am alone, I choose to let my ears ring and pretend it never stops.

Divine melancholy is all around me and inside of me

My body is not weightless nor immobile, I swim, and I swim- the ocean is

thick, full cream milk covering my body

I am bleeding, I am bound by white and red, bright red fresh blood and milk melt in between

my fingers.

Shortly after this: I will think about the concept of death.

I will think about how far I could swim until I just stopped.

I wouldn’t drown, I wouldn’t cut myself open on a rock or piece of coral, I wouldn’t get

eaten I would swim in milk and blood that surges in huge-

waves until all the energy in my body left me and I would be dead. I feel beautiful when I

think about this.

I toy with my insignificant little speckle of existence fading back into the universe.

Maybe I will find an ocean out there too-
it will be made of deafening white noise and extensive nothingness.

I swim back into land after all this thought about never coming back onto land. It doesn’t

make any sense at all, but I do it- I swim back onto land.

I dry myself off, look around,

Sigh and go home

Jasmine Mallinger is a New Zealand writer, barista and clothing/graphic designer based in New Plymouth.