What I Think About When I Swim
By Jasmine Mallinger
My body is weightless and immobile,
Floating into the vast expanse-
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
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-
maybe 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.