Like staring back
at the cat
and getting swallowed by its eyes—


that green
that cold,


or falling in-
to the frenetic
activity in funny papers


all that foam


and the salt in my nose


with its taste of the moment of conception,


the theft of desire
and the floundering to be born,


then the burst of birth
with its contingent obligation


to participate


to get beyond the breakers
and swim.


Jean Esteve