The camp pool glowed green once the sun blew out.
Guys with clipboards herded us into teams.
My team, the Ravens, chose me to start.
My mission: to hold my head submerged
longer than any other teenage fool.
At the whistle, I plunged into water
cold as space, silent
as a whale's womb.
How could I not taste death?
My team shouted words from far away.
Loneliness embraced me like a ghost.
I hid there for what seemed like hours
beneath the stones of duty
until my lungs heaved, grew wings,
lifted me back
to the world of the living.
One other child endured Sheol
two seconds longer than I.
I felt deeply for her.