'TITANIC VICTIM SPEAKS THROUGH WATERBED"/ Robert Olen Butler THIS IS A BIT of a puzzle, really. A certain thrashing about overhead. Swimmers with nowhere to go, I fear, though I don't recognize this body of water. I've grown quite used to this existence I now have. Tm fully conscious that Tm dead. And yet not so, somehow. I drift and drift, and I am that Ui which I drift, though what that is now, precisely, is unclear to me. There was darkness at first, and I failed to understand. But then I rose as some faint current from the depths of the North Atlantic and there were others around me, the corporeal creatures of the sea whom I had hitherto known strictly on fine china and dressed lightly in butter and lemon. I found that I was the very medium for the movement of their piscine limbs, and they seemed oblivious to my consciousness. In their ignorance, I could not even haunt them. But I understood, by then, of what my fundamental state consisted, something that had eluded the wisdom of Canterbury. Something for which I was unprepared. And after many years--I don't know how many, but it
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1996
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