The Swimming Pool Float

Poem by William Baer

He remembers, before she died last May,
watching as she slowly blew up and inflated
that circular reddish float, puffing away,
as their eager little children waited.
He recalls her love, her yellow bathing suit,
that every breath we take in the summer breeze
contains some fifty million super-minute
molecules once breathed by Sophocles…
Tonight, holding the float, when the night is cool,
he moves her chair to exactly the same place,
opens the valve, and sits beside the pool—
then feels her breath rush gently over his face,
alone with loneliness, alone with death,
he inhales her last remaining breath.

American Arts Quarterly, Spring 2010, Volume 27, Number 2