My heart is in my throat.

Testicles retract --

I don't want to do this!

Past success, remnants

of the taste of payoff,

a meaningless memory.

Hardest to be first, I think

(not that I'd know).

Time stretches.

There is pleasure

in this little progress so far.

To be naked in the wilderness,

no barrier of clothes

between you and all that you see.

But you can't stay thus forever.

Even at this slow rate this will deplete,

given enough time,

even kill you.

Now or never comes (for the fifth time).

I falter/plunge.


Sudden sense of extent of skin,

its entirety screaming.

You wanting to scream also.

An explosion of breath improbably held.

Stay down!  Adapt.  You can --

Michael glided as a seal for serious seconds,

his apparent ease a mortal wound

to your own confidence.

Achieving that discipline

could be yours.

Has been.

The gift of persisting

and losing that resistance and fear

can warm the ice-seared nerve-endings from within.

The giddy joy

Of finding yourself swimming,

not merely thrashing

in this icy lake,

a shout of laughter in your heart.

The clean, cold fire

coursing all around you,

possible precursor to death,

but here and now,

to life.


you will stand upon the shore,

a downy towel gritty sandpaper to your skin,

and smile at this foolishness.


and warmer than you've been all day.

So dive already!!!