LIFE UNDERWATER

I started wearing a heart rate monitor
All the time
I got it originally to figure out my threshold on the bike
I haven’t gotten around to doing that yet
When I first put it on
I guess it hadn’t made proper contact
I looked down at the watch
It blipped a tiny radiating pulse like a submarine Doppler
Searching for a beat
My friend pulled my shirt up licked the sensor and stuck it back to the place just beneath my breast
I laughed
There it was

Now when I walk
I look at my wrist obsessively
Dick Tracy waiting for a secret message

I am thirty now
And I worry, nightly; I will be too old too soon
To be a mother
I worry that I am a child

I interpreted an ultrasound
For a deaf person
A communication with the beyond
The doctor searched for the right spot
Made contact
And I heard the muffled, galloping sound
Of someone trying to survive underwater
I opened and closed my fist to show her the rhythm of a pulse

I have no god
And I don’t want one
But what I do want is a sign
That I am alright

Tonight I sit on top of a closed toilet and watch water fill the bath
The best part of the day
A reentry to the womb
Right before I get in
I remember myself
I unhook the monitor from my ribs
And get in
Submerged, I listen for the galloping
But hear only neighbors
Shifting furniture downstairs

When I’m done I can’t help the compulsion
To put it back on
And when I do I get the message

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