I don’t know who told me, I only remember knowing
a submarine was coming to the bay below my house.
Julie and I swam out to the dock and watched
from its boards as a little red tugboat churned by.
And then! Like a painted tin wale
the submarine breached a hundred yards away
snub-nosed and black, its verges
displacing the water’s edge.
Shedding water from its hulk, the submarine
bobbed dumbly on the gray-blue surf
and I stared at it, so high and still,
and I didn’t notice the wakes until the dock
started rolling and it they didn’t stop—layers of thick, silky waves
larger than I’ve ever seen barreling down the bay.
We were thirteen. The dock lurched and dropped
under me and Julie and I toppled like pins
into the cool, dark water of that tender inlet,
that caught me like it always did. And when I surfaced
with wet hair, salt eyes, hands reaching for the dock,
I felt tricked by its silence, the calm day, the brutal ark of men.