Wet bodies under watermarked concrete
Sweat and chlorine soak lawn chairs and tan skin
Crystal beads thread bleached arm hair
And I crack my toes under water

Sun beats head to torso,
Scratches my scalp to waist
Rays reach with long limbs,
Tense tentacles sting skin and pierce pores

Immersed hips anchored and upper body in flames
I squint through smoke and you hurry
Into a single file line
A synchronized leap I’ll never make

One through three you break the surface tension
With practice and precision
You plunge through liquid matter
And six hands grab hold of mine

Acidic vapor floods tear ducts
Vision blurs water burned eyes
But I can see you’ve ignored my signs

What’s left
My lone mouth
Pulling in air,
Red and blistering in the heat

Dry flesh cracks heavy
And you notice the blood
A few red drops is all it takes
For you benevolent sharks

Thirty fingers coax me to submerge
As persuasive as 50 rows of teeth
I sizzle on impact
And you

Adjust my straps, tuck my tag in
Brush stray eyelashes, wipe smudged mascara
Circle me in a whirlpool
Remember chlorine heals all flesh wounds

Drag me down to patch me up
Hundreds of thousands of hairs tangle like arms
We emerge as one, wrapped in water and woven together
Our roots kiss the surface in a four part braid.