Iris Alkalay The 2River View, 8.3 (Spring 2004)
Marine Biologist

In the dim blue-green midwater red appears black.
None notice the pink tail of dawn. None wish the skipping disc of moon
would dip deeper. Or that its sunken stone would glow among the lampfish.

In the shifting fields of black foam
the spilled map of stars wriggles with krill.
Beneath the surface
silvered children watch the light slowly drown.
In their blurred world stasis sways; the hot stars are softened blossoms.

Your lungs must thrill with the proximity of that old source—
They mimic its breathing, eroding bone with their tidal pull.
But beneath its unguarded surface how they want,
borrowed air staling in two pink rooms
oxygen cresting throat-high with those insistent hooves,
with that familiar noise.

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