I wanted it to be me,
that was my one wish for Christmas.

Instead of that though,
we clung to one another in the parking lot below the clinic,
knowing the unfortunate answer.

This was December 22nd
and rain poured on the earth above.
We were far from sun dress,
dappled meadow, the breeze between your knees
I imagined would greet us as we surfaced.

The diving bell is in place, I whisper,
going lower
to somewhere Spanish galleons rest their keels on the ocean bottom
and new life thrives in
familiar wreckage.

Erick Mertz