Sep 142011

by John Grey

Night swimming scoops a handful
of the seamiest shadow,
unlatches the most reluctant of bras.
It basks in chest pride
and sheltered glances,
the splashing gallop,
the shy, spraying, canter.

He could name thirty girls
who’ve cavorted in the lake with him:
Annie from the trailer park,
the rich kid, Cindy,
one whose white hands never left
her tiny breasts,
another just four weeks
from saying her “I do”s.
This is her first time
being bones and flesh,
scared, excited,
struggling to swim
in deep, black water.

He freestyles out to the center,
a captain at the helm of his short history
of manhood.
She never strays far from the banks,
backs away from his merest ripple.
Three heart-panting steps
and she’s free of the clinging, the hungering,
the prospect of catastrophe.,
takes up her towel, her flimsy shoes,
dresses quickly to outpace the cold.

But he has to really push himself
to get out of the water.
His arms crawl smooth as his tongue.
His feet kick against the walls of his domain.
Finally, he stands naked in the honey moonlight,
dripping jewels of himself,
drying in the admiring wind.
She shivers, he preens.
It’s swimming, in lieu of drowning.
It’s one night posing as two.