Thumb Pressure

by James Claffey

The key is buried deep in dark soil. The red ribbon attached is a thread of blood leading to the Minotaur's lair and the louvered windows where light filters in and stripes the statue's carved rock. This morning the salt tang of the ocean comes in the window bringing memories of the rusted shells of ancient fishing boats and underwater reefs made of discarded machine parts. We are giant sea turtles in the clear blue waters; slow-moving, deliberate, kisses pepper the hombro and brazos. There's a lump near the base of my skull, a painful knot created by stress and lifting too-heavy tanks of oxygen. Thumbs apply pressure and the old eyes of a sailor stare up from the seabed. A sprawled marble statue in rumpled sheets is the last thing I see as I rotate in the water and strike towards the surface.