Inside the Bubble (Spring 2014)

Undulating motion
of a cosmos contained
of melded matter
moving as one
and yet as many.

The sea teeming with creatures
of every shape, every size, every color
all cradled
in the soft hand of the
deep blue.
And as the water itself
stirs and swirls
around itself, through and over and under
itself
the creatures shift
in a dance of life
through and over and under
the others around them
all gliding and sliding
in the deep blue.

The great white shark
moves its ponderous weight
slowly and alone
as it advances
cuts through
the schools of fish
who scatter when the shark approaches
then regroup on the other side
to continue their swishing way
through and over and under.

The pair of eels hovers
side by side
silently heave
their breadth and length
as they undulate
set swaying
the spiky anemones
who flutter and bend
then recover their stature
to continue the slow motion
through and under and over.

Each on its own
single-minded path
in groups, pairs
alone
over and around and under
the others
as a pulse of energy is transferred
each time they pass
never touching but sensing
no contact but
symbiosis.

And there at the side –
no, right in the middle –
well, where is it?
The bubble floats
with her inside
surrounded by water
exactly
as the others –
not at all like the others.
Her bubble encloses where the sea
expands
her bubble reduces where the sea
enlarges.
And she moves
but doesn’t
as the bubble floats on
over and under and around
making no impact
as if it had never been.

The anemone senses the eels five feet away
when the undulating motion
reaches to set swaying
only the anemone’s neighbors.
The small fish sense the shark five miles away
when the ponderous weight
displaces no water near them.

The bubble passes five inches away
from creature after creature
none take notice
none feel the pulse
none feel the energy
of her
inside the bubble.
The sea itself takes no notice
of this
self within itself
drifting on by.

She sees the sea and its vibrant colors
as if through a rippling glass
the glistening walls of the bubble
providing a sheen
that pervades all
she looks down at her hands
spreads them before her eyes
notes the dull color
not shining
not glistening
not pulsing.
Her mind gives the order:
Reach out! Touch the bubble! Break the skin and break free!
Scream out! Send the sound waves through the waves of the sea!
But she can’t.
The bubble fastens her arms at her sides
in a straitjacket
slides over her mouth and seals it shut.
Her body useless
no function, no fate,
she becomes narrow
numb.

And so she just watches
helplessly swept on
by the drifting bubble
and the deep blue fades
and the sheen dulls
and the creatures seem farther and farther away.

And as the sea forgets
this bubble within it,
the pinched-off piece
of its own deep blue,
not even feeling the pulse
of its presence,
its material existence
a sham,

she forgets herself.

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