I have always loved Adrienne Rich's "Diving Into the Wreck". For Adrienne's poem goes down by layers, tracing her physical descent into deep water, until she faces that essential truth of being nameless, despite all she carries, nameless and facing the death of those who have gone before, equally forgotten. Adrienne has a companion there in the deep, even if it is her twinned self. Here is my poem in response.
. . . for Adrienne Rich
I too have floated alone,
along the top of ocean waves,
looking fifty, eighty feet down,
seeing the fan coral sway
to unseen currents,
the blue-green sand dip down
and darken to the black unknown.
Silent, I stay long after the others
paddle back to that tiny boat,
my fingers splayed wide to catch
every sense of water and deep,
intrigued as any hunter
at every flicker of life below.
When I finally return,
I have no words.
Each breath I take fills up my chest
with the immense, precious blue below
that I almost understand, that I cannot forget,
like the song of a poet,
like the memory of a dream,
like the last flash of red
before the sun falls into the sea.
Jason Hedlund on Flickr (Creative Commons)