by Ruth Foley

Down here, it’s finally quiet, cool,
a distant motor thrumming through

then past, the spring rising cold at
my back. Even when I open my eyes

it’s dark, the sun wrinkling down,
silt stippling. Somewhere, someone

is calling a name—it doesn’t matter
if it’s mine. Someone else dives

from a dock—it is the sound
of being sliced like a tomato,

the sound of water barely moving.
And I know why Drebbel invented

the rebreather. I know what he
wanted—to be down and down,

to slip as sure as fins through liquid
velvet, to know the value of breath.


Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her recent work is appearing or forthcoming in Adanna, qarrtsiluni, Redheaded Stepchild, and Umbrella, which nominated one of her poems for a Pushcart Prize this year. She also serves as Associate Poetry Editor for Cider Press Review.