Leaf by leaf, the man collected each dream he had once lost, caught it in his net, and watched them wave like starfish upon surfacing.
The chlorine swirled in protest and so did the sweat beneath his hat. The liquid swam off his hardened skin like tears and spilled into the blue maw.
The man held the orange stars up against the clouds. They sparkled in his eyes, bringing back a memory of the citrus tree in his mother’s yard and plucking the fleshy balloons from its slender arms. On her shoulders, his mother lifted him towards the ginger sky and the balloons popped in his mouth. “Eat all of it,” his mother said. “Don’t waste.”
The orange stars fell among the trash.
As he toiled under the African sun, the man realised that he had never actually learned how to swim.