Seeing Them by Sarah Dickenson Snyder

A colorful pamphlet I picked up
about swimming with manatees.
And so we went. That cheap hotel
we stayed in the night before.

The wet suits we wore,
the fins and mask, how we slipped
into the Homosassa River with snorkels
and saw the huge beasts, their eyes on the sides
of their massive heads. How quiet the world under-
water. It was a private time, wandering
in the breathlessness of giants
swimming close to us, curious.

We couldn’t speak until we surfaced,
and then we couldn’t speak either.
Another universe, ancient skin
and their eyes—small planets.

— from Juniper Volume 6, Issue 2