Content Warning: suicide
Richard Williams - Nearly Forgetting
For some reason the opening of the new pool pops into your head the sweeping wave of a roof silver in the sunlight is a fast shutter speed of surf about to crash but caught for a second the moment before impact in front of this the athletic stadium stands tired a red-dirt running track no one else on it and you are rounding the bend you imagine the crowd is rising the tape is waiting chest high to cut the past in half and now this fantasy is lost and you are four five six again and not running but drowning in the old pool learning to swim and stretching out gasping gasping breathing kicking for the side hold on hold on hold on you are seven eight nine like a dog at the greyhound stadium next door waiting for the trap to release for the hare to speed on and it is still early morning and the line of thought rubbernecks out past first kiss first crush first love first everything into your twenties thirties forties in tightly packed houses and dreams of something different not marriage and divorce and kids you hardly ever see and jobs you endure and failure and regret washing over and nearly drowning all over again and the first funerals of friends and wishing you could be someone else anyone else is this really it is this all there is and not sleeping and waking up and counting the lines in your face and the silver streaks in your hair and the thought of sinking into your fifties sixties seventies and then and then and then when something goes wrong when something goes really wrong there is nothing to hold nothing to hold on to and walls are nothing but sand and water and when there is nothing left to give you are left with nothing but one decision one future that ends not in a split-second snapshot but an involuntary gasping and grasping for breath as memories of faces fade and a sweeping surge of light closes down to a single darkening point.
Richard Williams lives in Portsmouth has had poems in a range of print and online magazines, including Acumen, Envoi, Frogmore Papers, One Hand Clapping and Orbis. Others have appeared on radio, including the BBC. A first collection, Landings, was published by Dempsey & Windle in 2018. He has a blog at www.richardwilliamspoetry.com
Artwork: Raven by Cynthia Horvath
Cynthia Horvath is a Chicago encaustic artist and poet, founding Studio Cire in 2014. (cynthiahorvathgarb.wixsite.com/studiocire). Cynthia was one of nine poets selected for the August 30/30 Project by Tupelo Press in 2018. Her poem Cold as the Deepest Moonlight was published in 2020 for the Gemini issue of Finding the Birds literary journal. Her poem Ever is a Long Time was published in 2020 by Lucky Jefferson. Cynthia has three poems featured in Orcanus, the upcoming inaugural issue of Night Sky Press. She is currently at work on her debut chapbook Dark Leopard of the Moon.