there is something holy about a public swimming pool on a summer sunday.

people slither in and out, a pot of churn -

wrinkled bodies float and flow. their arms slice cleanly through water, ripples distorting the edges of their skin. freckle — free

tangerine-orange slide swirls into pool like a neck inflamed — belching out child after child. i can hear glee echo in its throat — like candycorn, like sweetness.

the indoor-air bulges with chlorine breath. plasticky, piercing.

everywhere i look, i see blue:

sunken melancholy in slumped shoulders of teenage lifeguard — only to perk up as tanned woman — shapely — sashays past. her pony tail is pasted to her neck but if it wasn’t, i imagine it swinging and bouncy.

the color of calm collected — in slippery tiles and the stream of littlefeet drizzling toward deep end, parental caution shrieks “no running!” “no diving!” only to be boomeranged back with 3..2..1..“geronimooo!” buoying waves, tidal.

uneven babybangs plastered to forehead of infant as she is birthed from the surface, a first breath, gurgling air and wonder.

woman in hijab dips toes in and out, testing the waters. choppy. she smiles as her child splashes in his yellow arm bands.

black goggles illuminate 10-year old eyes as they scan sideways — today, he is blinking submarine. spotted. girl flippering legs — she is mermaid, she is creature of sea, she is tentacles tangled longing. he shyly dips under. murky, depth.

i catch flickers of connection, scattering and stillness. bodies suspended in concrete hole dug-out and filled up, trapping sunlight and whispers. splashing and screams.

here, everyone is welcome.

everyone is sacred.

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