Drown (Or, Learning How to Swim the Hard Way)

I’m suffocating.

I can’t breathe.

They tell me it’s easy.

They tell me it’s natural.

They tell me inhale,

exhale

inhale

deep breaths.

But how can you breathe when you are drowning?

How can you breathe below the surface?

Wading beneath the waters,

watching the colors dance on the viscous curvature,

sensual mockery,

“See how easy?”

They jeer as they dance between

the crests of the waves.

I want so badly to break the surface.

If only …

I stretch my desperate hand upward

grasping at the mosaic sun.

Stretched muscles straining as tendons tear,

but I swear,

I swear

my digit can feel

the soft kiss of the wind.

Published by Allia (A.E.) Sadeghipour

"When I was a little girl, a spirit followed me to Las Vegas. Running alongside the moving truck, it's legs twisting into wings, it howled, 'Write damn you!'" Allia (A.E.) Sadeghipour is a Queer Iranian-American Surrealist, humanist, writer, teacher, punk and poet. She is the President of the Women* Writing Berlin Lab (WWBL) and taught workshops for GLADT and Feminist film organizations. She won the Sherry Debrowski Prize for Best Feminist Multi-Genre Fiction writer in 2009 and has not stopped since. Most recently, her work has been featured in: The Bear: Favorite Storyteller (2018 & 2020), KCRW and the Goethe Institute (2018 & 2020), The V Series Poetry Anthology (2019), Berlin Untelevised (2019), Coven (2019), What's Afghan Punk Rock Anyway?! (2019), The Ghosts of Berlin: Der Geister von Berlin (2019), Literarische Diverse (2019), Teach the Rainbow: Insights from LGBTeachers about Queer Visibility (2020), and much more. She has had the honor of performing for GLADT, Wicked, Nightschool Berlin, Viva Con Aqua, the IDP Collective, and the Iranian Re(connect) Festival. By sharing her narratives and perspectives, she hopes to reach out to the world and introduce them to hers: www.awerfjil.com.  @awerfjil #awerfjil

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