The gentle hand stroking your face

Tiny tendrils creeping up

Starting at your toes, then fingers

And working up;

Never intruding, never violent

Just the right kind of soft

All of a sudden, you aren't drowning anymore

The water under your back;

Once insubstantial,

Threatening to swallow you up into its hungry maw,

Is there.

Tangible, viscous, holding you up.

You find you can breathe again,

Or at least, breathe without ink-water racing up your nose

Down your wind-pipe,

Like fire.

But cold.

On impulse, you open your eyes

And you see the sun's golden rays,


Stroking your face.