Our wise men want to call him Icarus. But he can’t be
that Icarus. There are no melted wax wings, no vaunting
ambition, just the salt crust on his face and limbs.
Perhaps he did fall from the sky and no
one heard his splash. Perhaps as the waves moved
around him, like a bright red buoy tied to the sea,
his swimming bequeathed to the water
the necessary movement for the waves. Perhaps left to swim
ashore, it’s our words that have drowned, not his soul.
Or could it be the waves have calmed?
Could it be that the sea is silent? That there
is nothing left to come ashore?
What if he’s like a cloud of paramecium
or something, and the swimming child emerges
alive from the river estuary and not dead from the sea?
My child, my child! The swimming words,
so much in abundance, about to reach
the river’s mud, amid the river’s eels…