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I can’t drown yet: Millay returned to shore
from seaweed she hoped was an island.
My intended landfall’s trees
fade from a horizonveiled in yellow blur.
Stalled on empty breath,
my arms and legs diffuse.
I roll for a final view of the sun,
tilt my head back into
the water casket’s pillow.
Spread beneath the August ozone,
depleted, I calm, breathe: float.
I laze on the unsubstantial surface,
dream upheld by nature.
Michael King graduated from the University of Maine in Orono and now teaches in Oklahoma. This introspective poem plays off an experience Edna St. Vincent Millay had while swimming. Millay was born in Rockland on Feb. 22, 1892, and went on to become one of America’s most widely read poets.