A Sadness

The pool’s edges glitter with turquoise and sky

at the touch of my light,

the only warmth in this throne room of unknown gods

hundreds of feet beneath the sun-beaten Texas hills.

Cradled in white calcite drippings and strivings

falling and rising like porcelain fingers

cupping a precious mouthful

stolen from some unseen stream in the blackness,

the water is all the more precious to be drunk.

The depths call to me from the shallows

with a memory of some long rejected touch

the cold ringing familiar through my bones

inciting an impulse to sleep beneath its blanket,

and there, in the quenching blackness of its center

to be cradled by the weight of waters gathered

to feel my rib cage contract around an emptiness

my soul curl in upon its own weightlessness

to find itself hollowed by the cold

and the impregnable darkness.

But here in the shallows, there is a comfort,

the warmth of my faint light

revealing the coppered rust of the pool floor

my toes searching like so many bottom feeders

my soles planted upon a porcelain palm

and my heart, though longing,

turning to ascend

to reclaim a place

beneath the relentless summer sun.


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