The orange sits in its fleshy shell growing sweet over time,
and the bear sleeps for months.
They hold emancipation at bay,
abiding the darkness.

Last week I stood at the edge of the Pacific,
the girls were busy collecting broken sea shells.
I thought back to the time I dove in this ocean, years ago,
masked and snorkeled, squished inside the rubber suit.

Above the surface, world and sky inverted,
grey and overcast, sea foam and cloud, thrashes and undulations.
Light and dark appeared from behind each other,
and I could not tell if my eyes were open.

Under the surface was a different world
of darkness mixed with slow and massive currents.
The weights and the sinking and the pressure of the sea merged,
and I could hear nothing, see nothing, and physicality vanished.

I stayed under, suspended, ignoring the purpose of the dive,
which sat on the seafloor uncaring.
Not breathing, my lungs began to ache, a bolt shot up my spine,
it was time to return to the protean grey of the surface.

I heard the girls wandering back toward me,
how splendid to laugh and gather shells!
To be the bear, to be the orange,
and give in to deliverance.