In respect of paddling, swimmer refers to to a former paddler. That is someone who's fallen out of their boat.

swimmer

A counterfeit old coin.
swimmer

A ship.

I shall have a swimmer ; a cant phrase used by thieves to signify that they will be sent on board the tender.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

From four floors above her
a beautiful woman,
aligned in naked feet and legs,
bare arms, pale cap,

two-piece swimsuit
mirrored goggles,
and with no nipples to betray her surface,
can be seen standing

before a swimming pool
wide as long.
She will never have a better lover, waiting.
She slips in and begins to crawl

with a stretching imperfect stroke
rising and falling, not stopping.
I am drinking soup.
The slight salt on my tongue

suggests the sea
or the visible space
between her lips.
She is rounded and thin,

unknown.
Delicious and of the water
completely. The near wall stops her
and she turns

as in breech before continuing,
now on her back
a new position in your manual.
Kicking hard,

calves and thighs turning the water
white around her,
confetti in a thousand thoughts,
separate and combined like each part

of her cyborg body, all endoskeleton,
feet pumping, while her long arms
meet above her encapsulated head
as fingers gently join.

Only her face is completely still
beneath this made-bald head
and I look at her
in ways you cannot.

My own lover,
a swimmer also,
is far away, asleep
in an early Texas morning.

End to end, there are more than
a hundred and fifty thousand
Olympic pools between Oratava and Austin.
I would swim each one.


Puerto de la Cruz
June 19th, 2010

Swim"mer (?), n.

1.

One who swims.

2. Far.

A protuberance on the leg of a horse.

3. Zool.

A swimming bird; one of the natatores.

Little swimmer Zool., a phalarope.

 

© Webster 1913.

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