WHITE FEMALE, 49, DROWNING VICTIM

The broad black lake gives.
Ice splinters into a nest of veins
that weave
under her feet.

Of course, at first she'll gasp,
claw with that ancient fury.
Clutch at the ice
until her fingertips deaden.
She'll swallow cold mouthfuls
that bite and gnaw.

Perhaps she has one last lucid moment.
Maybe she blames Max,
the boxer who walked out onto the ice
and now watches her dolefully from the shore.

Or maybe she thinks of her family,
their faces flashing –
the husband who will get a call at work
and the son, a fireman, who was on his way
if she had just waited.

Maybe she rediscovers religion,
making pleas and promises
that if God can get her through this
she'll do anything.

Or perhaps the last bubble
that passes her lips (an escaped balloon
a child forgot to tie to his wrist)
isn't a reflection or
a revelation. No great truth.
Perhaps her last thought:
Fuck, it's cold.