Submarine

I know it is leaking.
I am trying to ignore it.
Exactly how fast does a person drown?

It’s probably not that bad, I tell myself,
as I steer further offshore.
It was watertight yesterday.

Last week a crack appeared.
Once, before, I replaced the glass and that was fine.
So I didn’t worry.

But last week a crack appeared.
And because it was directly across my vision,
I picked at it,
Like a child with a bug bite,
Like my grandmother with a stain on her shirt,
Like candle wax on a tablecloth.

Pick, pick, pick.
Then the drops started.
I watched how it worked at the seam.
Salt droplets on my hand,
Tested on my tongue.

It’s certainly salt.
It could have been condensation, I suppose.
Something produced from heat on the inside.
But no. It’s definitely coming through.
Seeping in like the sweat that rolls down from my temples,
Or drops from my brow onto the controls.

So now what?
Head for safety?
Or trust the glass?

Nichole M. Dulin

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