“Looking up toward the sky on a breath, I watched the brightest stars travel across the heavens as we moved across the sea.”—Lynn Cox, who has set world-records for open-water swimming
In the middle of her midnight swim
from Catalina Island, the sky mixes
with sea, phytoplankton blossoming
from her mouth in trails.
Search the black-and-white
world between strokes for some small
point to anchor, a dot of a blinking light,
gleaming dim like a retreating flashlight in the woods.
Perhaps she imagines a thousand
tiny white lights, the kind that will usher
a fourteen-year-old through icy waters
for hours at a time, the sea opening up
beneath her to swallow what she can’t.
Only lights flashing, the lighthouse of herself
rising up to meet her on the continent,
some mainland she doesn’t have a name for yet.