After The Age Of In-Ground Swimming Pools

by Mark Seidl

Along the street, strangler figs coil up lamp posts. We take a table outside our favorite coffee shop. The water comes up to our chests. I've worked at my duty, learned to admire anhingas hunting from roofs of drowned minivans, how your submerged shorts billow around your thighs. You knock back an espresso & hurl the cup onto a pile of shattered crockery that rises several feet above the waterline. In a thousand years, you say, they'll write that in our culture we were so desperate to stay dry we smashed everything we had. I've worked at my duty. I say, Not desperate, just very nervous because maybe we didn't pray enough. You take my arm. We lie down on the pile of shards. You whisper, Let's say that in our culture this is where we sleep after we pray always to mean what we say. My eyes won't close. My duty is to shout praise while locks rust shut, canals flow over, pythons take the side streets for their own. The deputies' boat passes, every rifle with its man. The wake breaks over our shins. Beside me, your chest rises & falls like a new & perfect machine.