What is this body as I fall asleep again?
What I pretended it was when I was small --
A crowded vessel, a starship or submarine
Dark in its dark element, a breathing hull,
Arms at the flanks, the engine heart and brain
Pulsing, feet pointed like a diver's, the whole
Resolutely diving through the oblivion
Of night with living cargo. O carrier shell
That keeps your trusting passengers from All:
Some twenty thousand times now you have gone
Out into blackness tireless as a seal,
Blind always as a log, but plunging on
Across the reefs of coral that scrape the keel --
O veteran immersed from toe to crown,
Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown.