by Michael Heyman
“Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.”
Today I’m going to dive into the deepest sea
Wearing my orange floaties.
I’ll bob back up
a wave’s whim,
staying on the surface
another glint of sun
another scudding froth.
fathoms from the light
The cold juts jaws,
Darkness bleaches meat and bone,
Creatures telegraph lost luminescent tongues.
Stares the huge, unblinking eye
or the fleshy blank, where one may have been.
None of that for me—
I don’t need the unmentionable thumblings under me.
My eyes will keep their distance, will not,
pressed between a mile’s water-weight
and the rocky floor, like a flounder’s, migrate.
I’ll stay here on the surface
blowing bubbles in sunfish streaks
Or skimming along,
limbs spread wide.
There is enough surface tension
to keep afloat forever.
Michael Heyman is a scholar and writer of literary nonsense, poetry, and children’s literature. He teaches arthropodiatry and other literary and performative arts at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He once played badminton with The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense. His poems and stories for children and adults can be found in the journals Poetry International, Solstice, and FUSION; and in the books The Puffin Book of Bedtime Stories, The Moustache Maharishi and other unlikely stories, and This Book Makes No Sense: Nonsense Poems and Worse.