For Bill and Hetta Empson


We were dunking our toes up at the shallow end
when a turbulence in goggles butterflew
three lengths, playing at peekaboo with Undine.
A similar commotion -- as well we knew --
made waves within us, though we idly gossiped
of the One and Many, the insistent flow
of unreflective galaxies sprayed like cryptic
messages from hollowed palms that dipped. Meanwhile
the swimmer slid (dripping, discreetly nippled
as a public fountain) sleekly from the pool,
easing her sweet gusset before ascending
steeply to the top platform -- Ms Eau-de-Nil
Stylites. We tried in vain to call to mind
that single mathematical expression
for all of water's motions, left undivined
which she might choose of possible ways down,
airborne or solid; that seemed her own affair.
Yet in that interval of indecision
we felt her ripples all the way up here.



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