Consider the mind of god a drowning boy, all-seeing but deaf, his white limbs caught in the black swirl of time itself, a creation of serpents, his sacred body borne down to the muck depths and swampy tangle, splayed there, serene, cruciform, ivory.

Once, swimming off of Malibu, a man told me the story of their neighbor, the first wife of a famous scientist, a television icon, tanned, handsome, able to explain mysteries of the universe to a mass audience. (One imagines his wife as someone suitable for such a celebrity: red-gold sun-bleached hair, tan flanks flecked with dried salt, ample though not unbecoming breasts in a modest electric blue tanksuit.)

We were swimming in the Pacific, the scientist's house and the man's house each up on stilts, surprisingly modest knowing their exclusivity and cost. We stood wiping the gleaming salt from our brows and faces, tentacles of seaweed wrapped about our ankles. Out farther, he said, the weeds became a tangle. She was diving there for langoustines.

They would often dive for supper, it was paradise.

Somehow her scuba gear tangled and she wasn't able to free herself. The scientist himself joined the police divers. They found her rather easily, she shone like a goddess. He said she was perfectly framed by the ropes of seaweed, herself cruciform, calm at the last, caught like a bright moth in the drab web and the blue sea, the spiny creatures still alive in the mesh bag at her waist.