Lake Swimming at Night

From ‘Pandemic’, Sara Ditchman

The dock isn’t very far
and I am close enough that
if I want to swim back
it would only take a little effort.
But I don’t want to go back.
I’m lying on my back, letting
the lake water hold every part of me
except my face, a floating mask,
faced upward, awed into placid impassivity.
Those stars, and the black nothing
that hold every part of them, that
is what I see. A few gray clouds rest
in the middle, begging to be moved,
yet encased by the absence of
something. I see the black nothing and the hapless
specks of hope, the ones which say,
“We are very far away, and that makes us old.”
At least the stars and clouds
are there. Beneath there is no telling.
It’s probably black, like the sky, but
what if it’s not? Beneath this water
I am there, I think. Is my body covered
in obscure darkness, or is it enclosed
by dark obscurity? As for above
I am this mask, and masks
are no good at swimming.
I wonder, if someone was near,
would they see me?

I am this mask, and I am getting old.
Am I very far away?