after Adrienne Rich
I’ve been a diver, too, but the one who stayed in the open water, content to track colored fish in the warm currents. I’ve been the woman at the entrance of the cave watching my sister’s flippers kick into black, breathing my steady long breath into the respirator. Overhead, the shadow of a boat covers us, then releases us into the rays of watery sun. I’m circling so as not to lose this entry among the coral mounds, the undersea castles. I’m her monkfish mothering, half-blind in the mask that shows me only the tiny details of the closest creatures. For example, the bitten fin of this hammerhead. Not the faraway figure emerging. Nothing but darkness here at the mouth. And the wavering flit of two clownfish as they dart, together then apart, into a cluster of anemones.