Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Bella Li

DROWNING DREAM

DROWNING DREAM

DROWNING DREAM

That August I began to dream of drowning. It was the season of water—strange storms troubled the air. All day I crept along the edges of rooms, avoiding the precious windows—half ajar, propped open with old newspapers—where the green sky pooled. Outside, whole oceans flooded the garden, encroaching on the house and its sagging porch. On the first floor the eaves—swollen, bloated with salt. On the second the mirrors, weeping sodden light; the carpets stained with moisture. On the third I studied the ceiling for cracks through which the rain might bloom. The attic and the landing damp. The skirting and the sideboards. The clocks. Only once (in the afternoon) I moved down to the basement, where a man—quiet and still as a mouse—floated face-down in the dark. Above us, the house hummed like a machine.
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DROWNING DREAM

That August I began to dream of drowning. It was the season of water—strange storms troubled the air. All day I crept along the edges of rooms, avoiding the precious windows—half ajar, propped open with old newspapers—where the green sky pooled. Outside, whole oceans flooded the garden, encroaching on the house and its sagging porch. On the first floor the eaves—swollen, bloated with salt. On the second the mirrors, weeping sodden light; the carpets stained with moisture. On the third I studied the ceiling for cracks through which the rain might bloom. The attic and the landing damp. The skirting and the sideboards. The clocks. Only once (in the afternoon) I moved down to the basement, where a man—quiet and still as a mouse—floated face-down in the dark. Above us, the house hummed like a machine.

DROWNING DREAM

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère