I have finally relaxed. The skin-friendly bath oil a tide mark around my skull. The hot water and the steam and the foam have me calmed. And that gulp, that small body of air, has sunk back, for now, from my throat to my solar plexus. A knot of air. The water has cooled already and I am beginning to think of nothing when I decide to go under.

The water here is cooler still and I listen.

In the white tub the water gives off a polar chill. There is an artic sound. When you go under cold winds blow off the Gobi. Here I am nothing. I cannot open my mouth nor can I breathe. The water chills further. This is the tundra. I join with the permafrost. And as my heart slows the question arises.