There are docks but they are underwater. There are ducks and they are drowning too. There are bookstores and the books float up, ink pooling on the surface. The house where you grew up is at the bottom of the river, the school where you learned to write at the bottom of the ocean, the house where you live now is sitting in a lake. Wooden walkways cross the surface of the water like the Piazza San Marco in Venice during aqua alta but covering the world. There are people perched on roofs, some weeping, more fishing. There are lions swimming. Wolves. Labrador retrievers who do not mind the water. Admit it, before you were born, you were drowning. In your father’s testicles, in your mother’s belly. Our children could swim before they were delivered, screaming, into our dry air. So dive in. Below you, there is me wearing nothing but my feet, toes now webbed together. Meteorites hit the water above us with a hiss and drowning fireballs drift past us, warming the already blood-warm water. This is this feeling I got when I first met you. This is the feeling I get seeing you again. There is our future at the bottom of the ocean, down so deep everything is shadow. There is my hand in your hand, my body floating beside your body in the water of our bed. We are bubbles. We are transparent. We are barely here.

Jesse Lee Kercheval is a poet, writer, and translator, specializing in Uruguayan poetry. Her latest poetry collections include America that island off the coast of France, winner of the Dorset Prize, and the bilingual Spanish–English La crisis es el cuerpo / The Crisis is The Body, published in Argentina by Editorial Bajo la luna. Her latest poetry book, I Want to Tell You, will be published in spring 2023 by University of Pittsburgh Press.