the heat of summer which lies beyond the swimming pool is also the heat of solitude
by natalie chin
here i am floating with my arms stretched out like a star. i am in the middle of a swimming pool and the swimming pool belongs to your parents but they are out of town for the night. we are in the middle of the swimming pool and you are blowing up another animal-shaped float with your mouth. what we are trying to do is to fill up the whole pool with animal-shaped floats. the float is growing bigger than your face and it is blue which is also how i am feeling when i look at the float because it is full of air and it is the air of your lungs. what kind of fish would you like to be, i say, and you frown, looking as if what i said might have actually been what i had said, so i say it doesn’t matter which is true because we have accomplished our mission and now i can’t see your face amongst the sea of floats. i paddle towards you and think that i want to reach for your hands because sometimes it is nice to hold someone’s hand even if you know it is only for the moment. it is nice to hold someone’s hand because in that moment when your fingers touch mine i am not alone and so i reach for yours. we stay like this, quiet for a while, floats bumping our bodies apart. then i get out of the pool, towel myself dry, and climb back over the fence.
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