Swimming with Seals

Two horizons:
a far blue line where a ship
diminishes and the evening sun
lets slip;
and submarine
where we glimpse stars and shoals
and shadowy water-gardens
of what’s beyond us.

When the seal rises
she rests her chin on the sea
as we do, and tames us with her gaze.
On shore the elderly
bask beside their cars
at the edge of what they’ve lost,
and shade their eyes
and lift binoculars.

She’s gone,
apt to the sea’s grace
to watch us underwater from her place,
you with your mask and fins,
strolling the shallow gardens of the sea,
me, finding depth
with a child’s flounder of limbs,
hauling downwards on our chains of breath.

For a moment the old
looking out to sea,
all earth’s weight beneath their folding chairs,
see only flawless blue to the horizon,
while we in seconds of caught air,
swim down against buoyancy,
rolling in amnion
like her September calf.