Brian Robert Flynn

In The Minutes We’re Not Breathing

You know the game. Everybody into the pool. Dunk your head under. Hold your breath. Open your eyes. Life isn’t a game. As such it gives some players pause. Character is why we jumped in. Water is how we’re still alive. We adjust to the black lines below, the lanes. Sun pierces the pool’s edge. Its rippled rays echo. Everything echoes—clears popped ears, redistributes the cosmic harmony. From air to here numbed your senses. In the minutes we’re breathing, we’re merely prone to its incursions. Aristotle applied these minutes to anger, to humor, to everything—a golden mean between two extremes. Water’s prompts a calm coolness with a hint of chlorine, rage-free. I might be able to go for, hell, three or four minutes, how about you? He loved it when the sunbeams glazed the ripples. The prism’s dispersion subtly penetrates—red, orange, yellow, green, blue. You know the game. Time’s up. Indigo out the violet.


Brian Robert Flynn took swimming lessons at Utah Park in Aurora, Colorado in 1979. He currently spends his minutes breathing in Washington, DC.