We’ve been treading water for decades, surrounded by people with flotation devices, pool toys, inner tubes, couch cushions. Denial. Anything will do in this time of Global Warming. Does it matter? At times your saturated hand in mine is enough. We have that. Our crinkles match trough to ridge, ridge to trough.

And then I look into your eyes and they are dead. Not in the literal sense, but in the sense of endless repetition. Waves, that momentary lift, the swell, the falling like a roller coaster smoothed safe. I feel a warmth in my trunks and realize that I am peeing into this endless soup, we all are. Once upon a time, we did not do this. Once upon a time we cared. So goes the myth. 

Your pool donut has lost air. We have always taken turns blowing it up. Someday we will run out of breath. We will sink into the depths and never be seen. Isn’t that what matters?

A glint in the distance, a shimmer of white. Someone is carving through this jetsam on a sailboard. I squint, hoping to see the rider. Maybe it’s Al Gore. There’s a violence to it, a chop and surge. My heart pounds in cadence. A muffled scream, a splash. Pop! goes a raft. Blood sprays from fresh-cleaved flesh. The sailboard slaps and jumps. 

Around us people are awakening. Water thrashes as they kick and paddle, but there’s nowhere to go, no space to maneuver.

And still, the chaos comes, the salt spray and the blood.