Indoor Municipal Pool

By Alan Shapiro

The circulating disinfectants
make it an unearthly blue
or earth’s blue seen from space,
or what pooled from the steaming
of the planet’s first condensing.
In which case the pumps
and filters could be thermal
vents, and the tiny comet trail
of bubbles rising from the vents
could hold within it—if it isn’t it
already—the first blind chance,
if not the promise of
the hint of the beginning
of what at long last would
emerge into the eye which
being mostly water sees
only water signaling to itself
beyond itself in accidental
wormy quiverings over
the sea floor of the ceiling.

Alan Shapiro has two books of poetry forthcoming; Proceed to Check Out from University of Chicago Press in 2022, and By and By from the Waywiser Press (England) in 2023.

Originally appeared in NOR 5

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