(23 November 1834 - 3 June 1882 / Port Glasgow, Scotland)

The Refraction Of Water

Not knowing how to swim
I became an expert
at diving in

and swimming under water
(oh I could do that)
for a width
and then
another width back

reaching for the safety of the bar as if it were
Life itself
even pushed it so far
(I held my breath)
took to swimming lengths
underwater
the danger and the fear of death
became the thrill of it

lost in a soundless universe
living only on that one breath
my shadow like a soul distorted
accompanying me on the bottom
like a dolphin

///Time///broken///
in the refraction
of water.
Although I never learned
to swim

I became an expert
in not drowning.

***

IN AN OCTOPUS’S GARDEN WITH YOU

We play about
in the pool
(act the fool)

not swimming – playing.

I swim underwater
for a length

before passing underneath
your wide open legs.

You thrill to the touch
as I softly brush
your inner thighs
with my curly hair.

You laugh & cry:

“Again…again! ”

This time you
untying the little ribbons & bows
of your tiny bikini bottoms

giving me
a glimpse

of Heaven here
on earth
(under water)

my lungs on fire
gasping for breath

come up

clenched in my teeth
your little yellow
polka-dot bikini bottoms

only to find your top
like a jellyfish

scurrying away on
the surface.

your nakedness
split in two

by the refractive index
of the water.

“Come here! ”
you sneer

“I’ve got something
I want to

show you! ”

You sure
show me.

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