I would like to swim in the Atlantic,
to swim with someone who understood
why my fear of drowning plays less dire
than my fear of bones, walking the ocean floor.
I would like to sync my stroke with a beloved.
I’d like to stand on deck on a boat
and jump in the sea and say, follow me,
and know you would. The sea is cold
and it’s deep, too, I’d joke,
standing at the edge of the boat’s bow.
A wind breathes across the sea,
joining gently the edges of time.
With a dog paddling behind me,
I want to crawl across the water
without thinking about a future.
I have set my eyes upon the shore
and I hold you there—steady, in focus—
but let you go when, from below,
a voice breaks to the surface.
Copyright © 2015 by A. Van Jordan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 27, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.