Tide Pool

This is how it’s done,
you floating like light
inside the cool swirl
of an aimless tide pool,
you a girl again,
giddy and reckless,
thirteen or thirty
it doesn’t matter,
your hair coiled from salt,
thoughts untangled for once,
feeling as weightless
as breath
as wishes
as secrets
sewn into the loose strips of wind.
You kick at nothing
because it’s easy
and fun
because you can
because why not,
the fish don’t care.
In fact, they swing around now,
mere school kids themselves,
standing on fins,
rapt like voyeurs
before a stage play
when the field trip
is just beginning.
This is how you
crush summer
in your chest
like so-sweet fruit,
its colors jewel-bright
and radioactive,
shooting through your toes
like bolts of pleasure,
bouncing off underwater boulders,
pinging off the curled arms
of a wave that
holds you buoyant,
body to body,
a dance aquatic,
the two of you
whispering what only
the sea can hear.

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State and the author of four books, most recently the story collection, This is Why I Need You, out now from Ravenna Press. You can find more of his writing at https://lenkuntz.blogspot.com.

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