Life Preserver or Underwater Fortress


It’s under the ocean, a lake, or a pond. You’ll have to be a good swimmer, hold your breath, power on. It’s nothing you can’t handle.

It looks like a wok that’s been dropped on the floor, a metallic spherical dome nestled in the rocks or the coral. Balanced on its handles.

And down you will swim, under the lid, fighting your instincts as your chest burns for air. But once you’re down deep, there’s no turning back, the magnetic field prevents a re-breather. I guess you could bring a bladder of air, if you’re a strong enough swimmer to lug it down there.

Now you’ve gotta find the lever fast or the life you own will come to pass.

The lever, the button, the dome entrance seals. The metal, the grinding, the terrible squeals.

Then pumping and draining and pockets of air, expanding and growing til the floor is bare.

Now in the belly, my home, my retreat, where life is eternal but not while you sleep.

You have no entertainment, and realize no food. You’ll need to bring books and a coconut too.

You make up your mind to go out and get that, but you’re so awful tired that you just take a nap. And that’s when you find out, or it becomes clear, that you can sleep all you want, but never in here.

So you wake in the morning, or maybe at night, when the sun burns brightly, or the moon’s crescent’s slight. But you’re back on the surface, on the beach, near a tree and the underwater fortress seems as far as can be.

You pack up a bag, now, which you’ve made with your shirt. You fill it with food, a magazine, some rocks and some dirt. It all helps you sink to the wok once again; you go to the lever pull it down it begins.

You unpack your kitty, read your book, bide your time. You want to stay here forever but you can’t fight your eyes. There’s something inside here that prevents you from aging. But you don’t have a clock, and it keeps you from gauging.

How long have I been here, how long have you stayed? Have I been here forever or only a day?

Am I really immortal, or is it all your bad dream, we’re caught in this circle.

Awake on the beach, and you scream.

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