Undersea Caves Seem Out-of-Scale to the Explorer

Tessa Livingstone

I’m lost, unmapped, swimming through limestone chambers, fish disturbed by flippers, searching for air pockets, my oxygen running low, It’ll get cold where you’re going, you’d better get home, my headlamp’s faint-flickering like a porch light left on, and I’m too dizzy to make it out, the confusion of moths, the cave dripping stalactites, my headache hurried, a screen door slamming shut, my father on the porch, Don’t you know it’s 2am, his cigar glowing ember, a kind of vertigo, I say, through regulator, I’m sorry, I got lost, I forgot to come back, the cave just about swallowed me, I jerked myself loose, I was diving with Cameron, we both dropped off–

Tessa Livingstone was born in Long Beach, CA. Her poems have appeared in Juked, Salt Hill, Moon City Review, South Dakota Review, Five:2:One Magazine, Geometry Literary Journal, Whiskey Island Magazine, and Portland Review, among others. She holds an MFA from Portland State University.