by Za’Nya D., 16

You don’t drown by falling in love
but I wasn’t floating at the surface
my arms waving instinctively around me
trying to pull myself up, gain control.

Your voice is drowning with me and
I forget not to speak to it down here
my hair in the way of everything else
and I’m struggling to pull myself back up
to see you, but I can hear you
you’re doing fine, but I am not.

I’m running out of air
out of strength in my body to rise above
what could kill me
but I want so badly to breathe
to let go and hope that you will
take care of me
let go and wake up on the surface.
Jacksonville, Florida