That evening three dead men were swimming
Under the sunset, silhouetted by where
The horizon waned to a warm black.
That evening their feet were wrapped
In milfoil and in muck, itchy from the
decomposing leaves and the sulfuric heaves.
The sun set and for a moment there was twilight;
Their bodies sank beneath the wavering water and
As they descended, became shadowy, pallid, and quite
A grim sight.
That evening that the three dead men were swimming,
You and I could go skinny dipping without worry,
For the leeches were preoccupied by the reddening rush of fluids
And the buoying bubbles of postmortem exasperations.
And the lazy fish swam about in shifting circles,
Welcoming us to immerse ourselves within the cool liquid
Of their aquatic domain.
That evening that the three dead men were swimming in Little Pond,
We mistook it for the ocean, the blast of polluted air as the sea breeze,
And the toxic sky as the greenest Aurora Australis
We laid together on our bare backs and bottoms in the cold groggy sand,
And gazed up towards the milky way.
We made the radiant stars our lovely children;
Alpha Centauri had epilepsy, and Polaris was our little politician;
And then we laughed in a gaily way, and made the ethereal arms of
The far-off galaxies the boundaries of their cosmic playpens.