Breathing Underwater

by Hannah Lizette   Jul 23, 2012


Lately, I've been breathing underwater,
savoring every single ounce of affection,
knowing it will briskly fade.

The musk of whiskey and vulgar shouts,
panic pulsates as he strikes the bedroom door,
deadbolt locks will keep me from tasting blood tonight.

I quiver at the memories,
slowly slipping into a coma where I can dream of sand,
of breathing the crisp air instead of the salty sea.

Maybe in the morning I can swindle your love once more,
shower you with kisses,
and mimic what we no longer have.

Afterwards I can slip you a glass of homemade potion,
watch you totter between hallucinations and actuality,
your demons finally caught up with you.

Lately, I've been breathing underwater,
but now I'm breast-stroking towards shore,
my dreams are no longer dreams.

*written for club challenge.

Copyright 2012: Hannah K.

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  • 4 years ago

    by Masked metaphor

    Lately, I've been breathing underwater,
    savoring every single ounce of affection,
    knowing it will briskly fade.
    ^^
    I love the metaphor you have embedded within this stanza it is one I can truly relate to... Life seems to consume us like an ocean and the stress gets way over our head that we find ourselves not knowing how to swim in our own emotions.

    The musk of whiskey and vulgar shouts,
    panic pulsates as he strikes the bedroom door,
    deadbolt locks will keep me from tasting blood tonight.
    ^^
    I like this shift as it allows the reader to transform from reading words into setting out a scene where they are in this room with you facing the fear, anxiety as well as a tingle of relief that you wont be hurt tonight. I find the words you have used here filled with expression and effective

    I quiver at the memories,
    slowly slipping into a coma where I can dream of sand,
    of breathing the crisp air instead of the salty sea.
    ^^
    I love the link you have made between the two above stanzas here. You begin with the bedroom scene as you quiver at the memories which in turn takes you back to the drowning and the salty water. You have also mentioned the sands which intricately painted a vivid image in my head when I read it!

    Maybe in the morning I can swindle your love once more,
    shower you with kisses,
    and mimic what we no longer have.
    ^^
    The story here unfolds making a completion of why you mentioned affection in the first stanza as you are trying to love someone who can be aggressive and this love you have is chaotic and at times drown you in your own emotional miseries!

    Afterwards I can slip you a glass of homemade potion,
    watch you totter between hallucinations and actuality,
    your demons finally caught up with you.
    ^^
    I find this section powerful as it is the turning point. This is where you think... hang on a minute why am I having to deal with all your trauma when it is you that is meant to be feeling it and not me... This is the section where you are no longer a slave to passivity but are becoming assertive and doing something about it and I love the strength of this displayed here!

    Lately, I've been breathing underwater,
    but now I'm breast-stroking towards shore,
    my dreams are no longer dreams.
    ^^
    An amazing way to end this poem, filled with strength and resolution, a hope at the end of a dark tunnel you have displayed here that you have overcome your battles that held you down in your ocean of fears and pain and are now able to swim to the safety of the shores!

    This was a great read!
    5.5 from me!

  • I'm speechless.

    Just WOW!

    I agree with 'Everlasting'. This piece is both really sad, but somewhat uplifting because you are looking toward bettering your current predicament - no longer drowning in your depression, sorrow, pain, etc. - so there's that positive outlook you've thrown in too.

    Well done!

  • 5 years ago

    by Sora Lynn

    I am happy this poem won! you definitely deserved the win. a brilliant piece that was beautiful and sad, and so many people write about both feelings yet you have mastered it it seems. every stanza i pictured and felt, every line captured me, wanting to read more. a wonderful talent you have. great job! 5/5
    -Ash

  • 5 years ago

    by Garnet

    If you don't mind me asking, what was the contest? Or should I say, what was the main topic? I hope you understand what I am trying to ask :[ I'm not very good with words ;)

    I have read other poems of yours, Hannah, so I don't exactly think that this is true. The reason that I say this is because you write so many different types of poems, that it is hard to tell the true ones from the false...I am sorry if I am wrong though. That is just from my observations...

    'Lately, I've been breathing underwater,
    savoring every single ounce of affection,
    knowing it will briskly fade.'

    ^ Love the beginning right here. It is the best part, because it tells the reader exactly what the person in the poem is feeling. It is an awesome metaphor...since breathing underwater is impossible, it is implying that you are drowning. However, what are you drowning in? In your loneliness? Fear? Hate? What would be the opposite of affection?

    'The musk of whiskey and vulgar shouts,
    panic pulsates as he strikes the bedroom door,
    deadbolt locks will keep me from tasting blood tonight.'

    ^ I have a question here...you only referred to one door, so shouldn't the line be 'a deadbolt lock will keep...'? I would change that because if it is only one, the reader would feel more terrified for the person - a deadbolt lock is not always strong. Depending on the stature of the person, they can be taken out within a few blows.

    'I quiver at the memories,
    slowly slipping into a coma where I can dream of sand,
    of breathing the crisp air instead of the salty sea.'

    ^ Excellent stanza! I have nothing to say, but I love the descriptions you put in here...

    'Lately, I've been breathing underwater,
    but now I'm breast-stroking towards shore,
    my dreams are no longer dreams.'

    ^ I am going to skip the other stanzas because I really have nothing to say about them. They are beautiful, but this is one is spectacular. I love this part right here, not because it is the ending, but because of the way that you wrote it. 'Breast-stroking' is a swimming technique that keeps the head above water :) That is why you chose it, yes? I also like the message that it gives, because it shows that you are moving on after living part of your life in a abusive relationship, or I should say that it shows the person in the poem doing that.

    Overall, I love this poem. From the comments above mine, I have discovered that you won the contest? Well I am glad, because you deserved it.

  • 5 years ago

    by Xanthe

    Great job in the contest, Hannah!
    I voted for this because it really stood out, and I like how you used the given word subtly - not out of place nor the central idea, but it gave this piece the haunting tone it has.

    "deadbolt locks will keep me from tasting
    blood tonight."

    This was just beautifully-penned. I love the haunting atmosphere it gives the piece. I thought you'd continue on with a story about an abusive husband, but then you abandoned that idea. It's so interesting and thought-provoking.

    "slowly slipping into a coma where I can
    dream of sand,
    of breathing the crisp air instead of the salty sea."

    I loveee dreams, the sea/ocean and the beach in poetry. The imagery these lines painted in my mind is so vivid and lovely.

    "nd mimic what we no longer have."

    I always have trouble using 'mimic' in poetry as it is such an, let's say, unstable word..? But you used it perfectly here.

    "Lately, I've been breathing underwater,
    but now I'm breast-stroking towards shore,
    my dreams are no longer dreams."

    I love how you tied the beginning and the end. It gave this piece a sort of lyrical quality to it.
    I always enjoy reading your work, Hannah. Keep writing :)