Immediately, the space you occupied
is filled. As when a diver pierces
his vertigo, the water closes on
the soles of his feet, the last of him we see,
and there are ripples for the longest while,
There is a game you played –
was it from boredom? was it for the thrill? –
you had to lie in the blue-painted depths
of the swimming-pool, motionless, until
the second-hand ran rings round the whitened
face of your waterproof watch. You were
beyond rescue. The minute-hand clicked on.
There is no glassy surface now to break
with a light-pearled arm, or a clutching hand.
The chlorine has thickened. Whoever lies
beneath the weight of what was water once
is holding his breath, and lying in the dark.
Terence Dooley’s poems have been accepted or published in magazines including Agenda, Ambit, Poetry London, POEM, and MPT. A pamphlet of his poems is forthcoming from Argent Press, and his translation of Eduardo Moga’s Selected Poems will be out shortly with Shearsman.