Who can love nightwater’s blackness
When a swimmer goes out as bait
To bring in the blueblack fish?
The rope trailing men at shore:
First dive to deep water, hoping
Not to find the body of search
But brushing then grasping
An arm convulsed and frozen.

The water like crude oil at surface
In the brilliance of flashlights,
The confusion of timebursting lung,
The draw of rope to land
And the deadness of a young man
In the quiet heat.

:: William O. Boggs, Swimming in Clear Water (1989)

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