Oct 182014
 
The Res opened up in waveless acres
Humid as moss, a brown clay color of eyes 
Wide with surprise.  Our dock was a tumble 
of driftwood,
Gnarled spars nailed
And creeping into the tame lanes of runoff 
That gathered in this wooded pinch of land
Owned by the water company.

Down we went, loving to swim
Underneath the glimmering thing,
Below the splash and hash of daylit sounds, bird cries
And brothers' blatant yelling at fish-pops far off.
I held my breath best of the three of us,
Enjoying the nervy push of air
That I kept wrestled inside
Like a hit off a joint.

Under the dock's dark, I could see
Water bobbing like a workman's jaundiced level;
Floating in those shadows, my dunked head a cork
Light as Pinnoccio in a web of strings.
Both brothers' legs dangled aslant the field of light
As they chuckled about pitching no-hitters all summer,
Dreaming endless baseball and knuckle balls.
Up on the hunkered bundles of dock-wood, lines
Of reflected light jumped like colored strings,
Casting me in their net.

My ears below the surface, I dunked
Lower still, opening my sight to the algae-rich shallows.
A beautiful orange pebble-stone the heft of a fist
Fell from my throw in super-8 slo-mo
Until soundlessly cradled again in puffing mud.
Plowing forward like a pale mole, my arms motion-ing akimbo,
I hit the limber fence of my brothers' million legs,
Keeping me under the dock, the dark.

Their legs were alive as oars in the water,
Blocking my bulleting exit,
Again and again like a game--
My clean yearning squirm from mud to air,
My blood beginning to lust for breath,
My lungs now lobed with wet cement,
Heavier than souls in the scales of Osiris.

My eyes felt smeared heavy with grease,
The Res gaining a density of gel in my quiet fight.
I smiled to feel the real need of air,
The water thick as the runoff grease Mom kept 
In a coffee tin under the sink,
God knows why.  I couldn't see anything.
I wished I had my X-Ray specs
To reveal a way up, a way out of the dirty churn
Of water, water everywhere....

...ring, ring around...ashes, ashes...we all
fall down...he hit his head...and wished he was dead...
and couldn't get up in the morning...

How long had it been now between... 
the metronome ticks?
My under-legs felt cool on the flat black piano bench
While Miss Naylor's veined hands arched 
Next to mine in mime, playing silently
Our Silent Night as snow fell outside....
But, wait, wasn't that last winter?

My heart is in my cheeks, in my eyes,
Hammering like a hummingbird--
A cold confusion feeds on me,
My swollen elbows are wobbly, numb.
I close my underwater eyes,
Swallowing loaded prayers as I kneel
In the soft, the slick, the silt.
Before me vast invisible hands find a swivel-space
Between Gil's long awkward legs, and I know which way
To torpedo.

"Please," I cry, my tears warm in the backwash
As a bubble goes goofy out beside my nose,
A ticklish, licking trail of stale air,
"Please...." 


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