"from the water"
fine art series
She dipped below the surface, moving her arms like angel wings: thinking, wondering, and exploring the water; milky with dissolving soap. Sometimes when I see her, I don't know if I'm watching her or myself, as I can remember flashes of my little body so similar to hers. Each expression was honest, she has no reason to take notice of me when she's pretending to be a mermaid or a bathtub sailor. She is a creature, mysterious yet familiar. This is our routine, taking baths, me sitting on the side somewhere scrolling my phone listening to her made-up songs. But this particular evening I watched her, as she felt the movement in her hair half-deluged, a silent dance of thoughts and wiggles. I remember I too like to fall below the surface and feel my hair move in swirls around my head; holding my breath and pretending the world above doesn't exist. She is too young to have such thoughts, but I think we both understand the beauty of submergence. We are from the water, and sometimes I forget when there is nowhere else to go, to return to it.
I lifted her out of the bathtub, shivering, wrapping her in a towel to carry her upstairs... and later I thought...
"I'll return to the water and let you hold me down until I'm clean, and when I get up: naked, refreshed, and new, I'll believe again."