Hazed by bottom silt and ocean breeze, at the tight mouth
of a coral cave not far from the surface: paragliding by.
It knows, as I know, exactly where I am
in the water, my movements accord to the human limits
of grace. My vision salted. Here, I am hoodwinked.
Camouflage flesh hardens to an illusion
of rough rock, thick as a tongue, boneless:
backed against the coral wall, it disappears.

This is how it feels to nearly drown: the brain pounding
thick red and black, a heart beat made visible, dyeing
the Pacific with its rhythm, with its warmth: the lungs,
a flexed octopus, escaping.


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