WINTER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO DIG A SWIMMING POND
When we rip the cherry tree out to dig the pool we find two skeletons under the roots, curled against each other. There’s fog from where you stand to who knows how far but I was thinking of long June days and for a moment I forgot the pier and thought I was happy. Then I saw the curve of spine and although I’m standing in a field with you I’m waiting under the boardwalk when he and I were parentheses in two different fonts, monochrome and alien and juxtaposing in size, backs against the struts, his smile curling over me. And in between the bleached grass and the insect legs of the pier, he made a space just large enough for me to want to close it so that now, in the melting snow, every footfall sounds like his, every deep laugh and mumbled word, and the molehill mounds hide that there is something else, something not quite said, snow stuck to the north sides like tufts of hair on a bald man’s scalp. I walk to you but I snaked to him on belly of self-esteem and he replaced it with a hand up my skirt but somehow that love was more and you and I both know it as we stare at the skeletons we’ve unearthed. We don’t speak, don’t know what to do. Then it rains and the snow moulders and the pool forms by itself. Our feet only brush bones when we swim too deep.
Kinneson Lalor is an Australian living in Cambridge, UK. She followed a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge with an MSt in Creative Writing from the same institution while writing her first novel, teaching mathematics, and co-founding a supercomputing start-up. Her work has appeared on shortlists and in various places including The Mays, Tiny Molecules, Janus Literary, and Reflex Fiction, and she writes a regular blog about sustainable gardening for edibles and wildlife.