Five steps from the shore,
I dive and enter another world.
A world defined by silence and riotous color.
As my eyes and lungs adjust,
I follow a school of translucent fish.
I wonder, as they tentatively welcome me into their midst,
At this realm they inhabit.
There are no mistakes here.
Everything is accounted for:
Every gliding movement, every sudden plunge,
Every hidden stillness.
Nothing is left to chance.
As light dances off the waves above
And trickles down,
Illuminating secret hallways and hidden caves,
My eyes gorge on luminous corals
And tropical fish, their yellow and black striped bodies
Blending seamlessly into a blue-green world.
I encounter more ominous creatures.
A stingray, drilling through the sand
And I recoil with an ancient fear
Of its perfect symmetry.
I come up for air, rest on a beach
And reflect on the proximity of both our worlds.
What binds us together? Is it memory?
An acknowledgement of a long-lost kinship?
A promise of life in all its dancing forms?
Years later, driving down a highway, eating up the miles
An impossibly-colored parrotfish
Dives through the waters of my mind
Dipping into the crevices of a coral to feed.
I long to follow it, this fellow being
Into depths my body will reject.
I am, forever, haunted by the soundless music below.
Note: All my poems are published on medium.com/@asilrashid