She leaned back in the water, stared at the ceiling lights, traced their curved rims with her eyes. She rolled over and in the deep water tried a surface dive, not quite afraid but curious at the slight sensation of pressure in her lungs. She practiced her strokes off the wall, her half strokes, and maybe the start of a whip kick. Marveled that she’d never before craved this rhythmic suspension. Made a perfect somersault and came up with water in her nose but didn’t care. Swam three solid strokes out, three strokes back, three out, three back. Hung with her shoulders pressed against the side of the pool, her legs in front of her. Saw the gluey balloon of blood on the water: tiny blown filament of blood, impossible parachute. Thought this is death, is this death, is this death too?
She swam. Her arms thrashed, flailed. She sucked in water instead of air. She’d lost the sense of how her legs should work. Yet she was not drowning, and knew that she was not. The sway of the water lifted her up, forcing her afloat and into Edward’s words from an old beach in their life, that you didn’t wrestle Poseidon but ignored him and he went away.
She chopped her way down the water, her goggles steamy, fogged. Had she swum a body out of her body? Had she bridged a span of primordial liquids? And if this choking well of tears and the hollowness tunneling through her were grief at last—the unhealing of what was messily healed—had Edward, Edward for whom she grieved, left a medium to hold her?