That splish-splash summer night you chose me
with a touch of your toe and slow smile.
A deep dive and you bubbled under me,
slipped between my thighs,
lifted me, dripping
on firm, freckled shoulders.
Your sure grip on my ankles
drew out my Yankee-girl grit.
I grappled every citrus-voiced belle
who sneered at my pasty face,
sent them sprawling into waiting water.
We toppled team after team,
not caring if they called me crazy
or you a Mason-Dixon traitor
as we coolly clawed our way up
to chicken-fight champions.
When pizza came and towels were found
your arm stayed around my waist.
I couldn’t taste the food I chewed,
listening to your languid tales
of alligators, telling my most
shivery snowstorm stories
with one cheek pressed against
your butterscotch-spattered chest.
Lights clicked off, gates locked.
We moseyed through the sultry night,
trailing the jostling boys, giggling girls—
falling six, seven, eighty paces behind.
In a pool of lamplight you paused,
pulled, put your mouth on mine,
whispering Dixie into me
with your chlorinated kiss.
Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She is the author of NEVER GONE, a novel for young adults about grief and faith (available at http://www.amazon.com/Never-Gone-Laurel-Garver/dp/1479205079). She has published work in Flashquake, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Poetry Pact vol. 1, Ancient Paths, Rubber Lemon (UK), Drown in My Own Fears and Daily Love. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.