Poem for August: “Plunging Backwards into the Sea”

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia Français : Île...

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia Français : Île du Cap-Breton, Nouvelle-Écosse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This poem was originally published in The Dragonfly Review, which is, from what I can gather, now defunct. The poem  was inspired by many childhood Augusts of reveling at Whale Cove beach on Cape Breton Island.

Plunging Backwards Into the Sea

© Lisa E. Coté

I plunge backwards into the sea

like those divers
who don’t mind feeding sharks
or petting eels

and push against buoyancy and breath
to the shallow bottom,

just to watch, if briefly, the sun pierce
the mirror-tight skin of water,
illumine the lattice of currents and
armor of iridescent fish;

just to stay under one moment less
than too long,
tempting aquatic eternity,

then with swift upward kicks
rise and shatter the surface with a gasp,
trumpet air into my traitorous lungs,

and plunge again.