“The sea was cool and textured, riddled with particles and light, and stands of coral that flared up from the reefs like a flight of sparks, and he was certain he could stay down there forever. It was like radio, he thought, it was just space and waves, active and passive signals; it enveloped and protected you; it was a continous flow and you could lie down inside it and from the clamor of the land be exempt. Only there was something funny. There was something wrong. The colors were dimming as he moved ahead and he couldn’t really see all that well, and then before too long he could not maintain his depth. None of them could, he was sure of it, it could not have been unique to him, he could not have lost so much of his competence. He fought to see, and to stay down among the silent purposeless fish, but he had to come up, he had to, because his mask had clouded over with the residue of his own breath.”

—Robert Cohen, from “A Flight of Sparks”

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