For Drowning

by nicolecallihan

Dreams. I recommend them.  
The easy way to go. Tipped siren,
sip of Benadryl.
There are days I want nothing more than to
step onto the seabed. There, I lived
in the hollow of your throat.
Do you remember? (It was only
a day; it’s okay if you forget. Really.) Then nothing,
just the creekbed,
crawdaddy graves, Poprock husks.
Last week, I went to my sleeping baby
and reached for her. An empty crib. I knew
that they had taken her to Mexico, and I
would have to kill myself (gas)
or move to Paris. But I was still dreaming.
She was actually in my bed, had never been
in the crib. I sang and sang to her.
Louder. Still she slept.
A mistake, but I kept dreaming anyway.
In the dream: a strand of seaglass and you. I
was there too. It seemed like a punchline,
the slippery side of a gesture, end
of a joke: us, there, on the seabed,
too deep for the sun to reach.
Are we shells? you said. 
I tried to answer, open my little shell mouth,
but nothing. Only bubbles.

A river is a river is a river. Yes?
My student wants to write a story
about a man who thinks he is in love
with a woman but is really
just in love with the air around her.
My student is still young enough
to believe these are different.
And so I write on the board:
pools are pools,
oceans, oceans.