the water (we could die)

the water is so cold we could die in it
the same way we could die
just driving home innocently enough

you remind me of all the things i won’t do
drowning as i would while refusing to move
never lifting a muscle to risk this living

at night water appears black and white at distance
and night driving is performed with tunnel vision
as if any living is something other than illusion

your hands and feet offer bare palms and soles
like invitations to everything that could matter
unlike cold riverbeds or barren blacktop highways

this diving in driven to risk and happiness
cannot be muted by mere water or asphalt
cold and lifeless unlike your hands and feet

instead you take my hand leading me through darkness
stepping softly toward warm dry light whispering
the water is so cold we could die in it

—P.L. Thomas