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.