Breanna Ho | HOW TO SWIM


I’ve been in this house too long.
I’m forgetting where I come from, forgetting
what the ocean tastes like, how
to swim.

The moss grew on the tree overnight, and
time seems to speed up and slow
down as if overlapping up and into
itself, curving and bending with
the arc of the sun.

I’d like to think I’ve spent this time well,
but you start to worry about things like
did I care for this house enough,
amply drawing the curtains, so the
sun doesn’t fade out the furniture
or crack the leather?

Either way, time doesn’t matter here, not where
the stars dance upon the water, where
worlds exist as above and below this line,
watery and wildness all at once.

When I leave this house—and it was a good house—
I’ll thank the four walls that kept me together,
the beating glow of the hearth fire that kept
me warm, and the visitors who
catalyzed a remembrance:

what the ocean tastes like,
how to swim.

Author’s Bio

Breanna Ho is a queer, mixed-Asian writer born and raised on the prairies with the sea running through her veins. She questions the concept of belonging while in a multiracial body, believing home to be simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. Her debut chapbook, Uncharted, is out with Anstruther Press.