Sunday, July 31, 2011

Swimming Pool

© 7.31.2011 mykl g sivak

Swimming Pool

In the new swimming pool
in my parents’ backyard

she snapped on the diving mask
and dipped under the surface.

She is a new girl,
a tenacious young thing
nine years my junior,
all beauty and baby-fat.

I watched as she swam.

Her dark hair splayed
out like sea vines suspended
in the watery weightlessness.

Her powder pink arms made paler
in the summer water diffuse blue.

She crossed the circle slowly,
a short distance: fifteen feet,

from the far edge to where I stood
near-naked and three-quarters

Twelve long months I’d resisted,

confused in relative agedness,
feeling old-manish, non-committal,
novelty-starved, lonesome-autonomous.

I’d thought: I can’t do this.

Until, we’d stood in some parking lot
at the edge of ending.

Angry, she’d looked
at me with needful eyes.

I shouted:
You don’t know what you’re doing!

Through tears, she said:
I don’t.

And I realized I didn’t know, really,
what I was doing either, and that
I hadn’t ever.

As her small fingers neared my ankles,
I felt a jolt of gut-fear, as if

some sea monster was upon me,
and I leapt.

But in the four-foot-deep water,
it was useless and late;
she was already too close.

As she rose from the surface,
she wrapped her arms
under mine, around me.

Face to face, we locked eyes
through the goggles’ hazed glass,

and as she swallowed new air, I said:
I didn’t think you would get me, but you did.

She smiled, said:
I know.

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