by Art Heifetz  

Like a dreamer settling into
a long, deep sleep,
you sink oh so slowly
into an immensity of blue,
a stream of bubbles
rising from your reg
as a barracuda looks on.The blurry shadow of the reef
approaches like
an old, familiar friend
and you gradually make out
the orange and violet sponges,
the sea rods shivering in the current,
the small bits of coral
floating above the parrotfish
and humpback wrasse.But you want to plunge still deeper
into a labyrinth
of passageways and caves
where crabs with spinning claws
and giant lobsters
lurk beneath the overhangs,
where groupers wait
with open mouths
for cleaner shrimp to floss their teeth
while you squeeze through the openings
and check your gauges
to make sure
you haven’t gone too deep.You emerge to see
a colony of garden eels
poking their heads
like peekaboo babies
through the pure white sand.
An eagle ray swims by
and you feel a strong desire
to perch on its spotted wings
and let the current carry you away
wherever it will.

Art Heifetz teaches ESL in Richmond, Virginia, and writes poems published in thirteen countries. See for more of his work.