The woman knows she’s smashing
in her orange bikini, bottoms flashing half
a red dragon tattoo. Her almost-fiancé
(“We’re committed now!”) flashes confidence
from steel-blue eyes hard as his pecs.
His blonde hair lights a class-president grin.
How long will he need, he’s asked, to dive
into the icy pool, swim to the locked, fully
submerged cage where his love will be
freezing, holding her breath, and set her
free? “Twenty seconds max. I’m
confident.” She—waving from her cage—
swells with her own confidence, which shrinks
as water shocks her toes, then turns to terror
as the shot ogles her down. Sir Commitment
plunges (Spwak!), flounders down to her cage,
and pokes the first of his two keys. Trapped
behind pink goggles, her eyes plead.
He jabs the second key. When that won’t work,
his confidence shreds like Kleenex
in a blender. He’s betrayed—can’t breathe,
heart clanging alarm. To hell with her!
He shoots straight up as she gives the rescue-
divers a crazed, throat-slashing I quit.
Shivering on camera, the couple try
No problem; it’s just TV, holding their smiles
the way burned men hold on
their skin. Hand-in-hand, they churn
away. Then, not quite out of camera range,