House in the Lake


Devyn Scott, Staff Writer

I’m drowning, passively

The water filling my lungs slowly

And occasionally subsiding, for a second

Just enough to let me catch my breath


The waves lapping at my words

Making me choke and stutter

Over a declaration, I have long since oppressed

“I’m not okay”


For years, the tide had moved slowly

Grabbing my ankle when my head broke the surface

When I made it to land, the waves whispered with every crest

Calling to me from the shore, pleading for me to dance


One day, I sank

And I felt myself being carried

Past the fish and the kelp and the moss and the toads

To the bottom of the lake, where a house awaited


20 ft under, the smoke still blows

And the sun still shines

And the fish seem to glide through air

With the effortlessness of a bird


I’m happy, it seems

Where the pressure on my chest

Reminds me less of death

And more of comfort


It’s not so bad down here

Where drowning is the norm

And I can tell the fish and the ducks

About my tales of woe or joy


It’s lonely when people ask me

Why I chose to be under the waves and the currents and the streams

Why I sleep with the fish and dance with the turtles

Why I can’t just come up for air and tell people how I’ve been

But my lungs have disappeared with gills in their place

And I’ve forgotten how to breathe when I’m not drowning


I’ve lived here for years with the fish and the toads

And I wish I could tell you I’m ready to walk

But I am here and here I’ll stay

Till the moment I die or learn to breathe.