I knew a death that no one shared.Â Sommersaulting
twelve years old, in a neighbor’s pool
when my friend had gone inside
to answer a phone since his parents were at work.
I wanted to set a record–twelve forward and backward
sommersaults in a row–without coming up for air.
I could cheat distance under water–fifty meters
without a breath.Â No thought of death alone in a ball,
speed all that was important, arms
moving in circles, like paddles,
or frogging along the tiled bottom
from one end to the other
But at my friend, Mark’s house
I passed out.Â And found
the bottom of the pool on my side.Â The surface
so close but so far away.Â This was
the death I shared with myself.Â The cement
wasn’t scratchy, but soft.Â Geometry was there
for a moment of color, a geometry of absence
I was never meant to use.
I shared a death with myself, shooting to the surface,
it would have been too embarrassing to have been
found dead.Â I shared a death with myself, my so-called friend
still on the phone.
Behind the sliding glass door
two uncapped cokes on a table.Â The t.v. was on.
He was still on the phone.
I cried quickly and went home.Â The other world
at the bottom of the pool
had been so much softer.
One hundred well-behaved right lane trucks.
Fast Lane I-5.Â 80 mile per hour
twilight toasting the minds of bugs.
Phone pole hawk.Â Beak tucked.
Crop duster Christmas time green.Â Envying
the guy whose first kiss must
have just taken hold in rich rye
of such an instant just passed.
Ah, the heat of it!Â Weâ€™re no more than bread!
Back seat my son, youâ€™d think
the upholstery of heaven.
For an instant so righteous
Iâ€™m entrusted with so much.
Nightâ€™s just a nest
My jobâ€™s just to drive
For an instant so righteous.
Itâ€™s pay a bill make five phone calls have
a thought die
Pay a bill have five phone thoughts make
a call die
Make a call have five phone bills drive to
Drive to die make a store house have a phone
Sigh a phone child eat a bill make a
Cry a paycheck read a bill eat some
Make a color color a call smile a smile
Phone a smile fake a paycheck color
sonâ€™s phone bath bathe
Bash the laundry phone a bed sheet wish a phone girl
Bill a number bind the newsprint smell
some flowers cry
Gas the car up bill the cat food vacuum two
flea thoughts eat
Call the sunset bill a moonrise pace the