Howard Firkin
(The morning swim)
The biggest moon in eighteen years dissolves
in light and waves, as if it never went
its promised path: arc of the continent.
That’s how it goes, the way the earth revolves.
It’s six am. I ought to be asleep.
I stand to strip my jersey, feel the cold
brush sandy fingers round the waves of flab
that blanket anything resembling abs
and stand exposed: alone and pale and old.
There’s only one way out of here: it’s deep.

Your steps in ocean prove you’re still alive:
they scarify; they rasp; they claw for red
mammalian warmth. You gasp, and clench, and dive,
and seek a moon among the white and dead.