Deep in water
By Melissa Petrakis

The lips are kept
pressed closed
to open the mouth now
would let the salt water

Gone are the long days
the early dawns and
delayed nightfalls
of commencement.

Gone are the days
of being toe-deep
being heel
and ankle only
deep in liquid.

The limbs have lightened
but slowed,
everything slowed
movement freed somewhat
from gravity.

No longer the giddy splashing
envious of
strong strokes in others,
no longer the anxious
and furtive diving.

No longer the process
of building up form,
the gratifying
and humbling task
of earnest repetition.

No longer the giddy splashing
the watching others, envious
gone are the long days
toe, heel and ankle
deep in water.


Melissa Petrakis is a poet, playwright and artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her poetry has been published in arena magazine, Centoria, Dan Poets, Hobo, Meanjin, Moving Out Moving On: Poems of Dislocation, Postgraduate Review(University of Melbourne), SideWaLK, tiny epics. Her first book of poetry ;The Naked Muse; (Domain Press) was published in 2001; her second book ;Attic Dweller; (also Domain) was published in 2002. She can be contacted via , and welcomes general comment and, of course, book orders.


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