I sit submerged, eyes closed, at the bottom;
The pool’s steady drone pressing lightly on my ears,
The children’s yammering muffled by the water.

I’m alone on a busy summer day.
The air is bright and warm, the ground is hot.
The sky stretches blue and smooth above.

I resurface and the day greets me with a roar,
Kids splashing around me, and only my eyes move
as I stand against the edge, hair dripping slowly.

I’m unsure I’ll see a slow summer like this again.
I’ve finished playing and growing, and now
It’s time for the rest of my life.

I think about the two decades behind me,
And then the six or so ahead;
I can almost count them on one hand.

I plunge down into the water again;
This air, a few feet below, is thick and slow,
Darker, cooler, quieter.

With every second here, my time grows scarcer.

I think of the timid little puddles around the pool, drying in the sun;
Then I think of the sea and its colossal depths
Silently swallowing light and warmth with an unyielding appetite.

I sit submerged with my head in my hands,
The vastness pushing on my eyes and ears.
I realize I can’t stay here.

This is not my world. My world is a little bead necklace,
a string of moments precious and tiny and few,
And I’ll cherish it until it’s buried with me.

I resurface again, this time embracing the greeting;
I breathe in the warm air and push myself out onto the hot cement.