GETTING THERE FROM HERE

Peering down through the water

past variations of deep green, golden,

olive, mocha, teal and silvery seaweed,

undulating movements detected far below.

Curiosity in check, attention diverted

to ever growing lines of people forming

for whale-watching tours,

lighthouse trips on double-decker boats,

and anxious honeymooners, listening

to waves sloshing against dock pilings,

impatiently waiting for a sunset cruise in Maine.

“How deep is the water here?”…one asks,

pulling fresh saltwater taffy from their teeth

as they stand on the weathered dock.

A precise answer would take too long,

offer more details than expected,

impart more information than

a passing curiosity warrants.

The answer, “You just can’t get there from here.

The bottom is farther than a person

could swim without an air tank or gills,

more icy than bare skin could withstand,

darker than the inside of those caves

way up on the cliffs across the bay.”

A fish-finder, chart, sonar,

or sounding device

would calculate precise readings

of water depth in mathematical terms.

Will those statistics offer

a clear vision, a sensation

of what it feels like to experience

icy underwater depth,

or feel the panic

of crushing water pressure,

to realize the sensation

of burning saltwater

filling ones lungs?

Taking a deep breath,

catching my reflection in the surface,

drowning in intense thoughts

I imagine – probably not,

those thoughts remain

buried incredibly deep.

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