When I was little, I was certain that being in the ocean for long enough would change me into something slick and dexterously fishy. I would tumble out of the car, slip into the water, and feel the ocean around me shimmering with this possibility. My parents would wade in with food held over their heads because I wouldn’t come out, not even to eat. I was waiting for my hands to go soft and wrinkled – surely signaling I would transform if I stayed just a little longer underwater. I remember sneaking out for a moonlit swim when I was ten, certain I would stay submerged long enough at last. And I remember the moment I gave up on my project – the realization that my fingers went just as wrinkly in the ocean as they did in the green bathtub of our new home or in the sharply chlorinated pool where I took swim lessons on Tuesdays.
Alicia López is a translator and sculptor. She grew up in San José, Costa Rica and currently lives in California.