on the blocks - waiting for the piercing hum
a lifetime passes through a few seconds gone
laser beam eyes fixed on the water calm
on your mark - heart beating louder than a drum
leaping through the air - dry then wet
all is in motion - the first and only breath

the body now flat - balanced head through spine
eyes stare down at the long black line
right arm catch - fingers spaced just right
two beat kick - streamline - rotate - glide
pulling with precision every muscle fires
an orchestra of instruments obeys every desire

feet on the wall - for the perfect flip turn
body propelling forward - legs explode and burn
defying gravity and the need to breathe
a gift thought given only to creatures of the sea
according to rules established from the beginning
rules of force, acceleration, and friction

neck and neck, ten meters remain
lungs on hold - beginnings of pain
arms sweeping round - like a cheetah at full speed
a few hundredths of a second - the shoulders plead
just one last stroke - coach pounding his chest
just one last time - to touch the wall before the rest