Skinny Dipping

I scratch a match and light a candle while the moon rows across the water

The dock is rough with greyed, splintered wood

ka-thumping and scha-lopping  from a few errant waves

left over from exhausted skiers


I lie on my belly, eyes open wide

just a candle, the lake, and the moon

And watch the silence absorb the day’s heat while the Dipper pours into the lake


Someone has yanked up the lakeweed again – 3 strands on the surface, with legs dipping down

Like we the swimmers will soon be: we’ve been waiting for the moon and the stars

Laughter collides and the padding of feet from a handful of shivering gigglers

they drop their towels and their clothes and run into the joy

dipping their feet, then up to their bellies, then cooling their sun-worn shoulders


I am someone here

I am  sister and niece and cousin; I am teen, daughter, poor and rich beyond measure

This is the smell of summer to me: a slippery white soap in green water,

hair washed in minerals and mercy and weeds

could there be anything better?


I swim into the moonlight

no longer cold

Just nervous

 and happy

and free


I think, I want to be a prayer, to become an allelujah

To dissolve into love like the saints

But just being there is as perfect as this

when the water opens her arms to my arms

and we glide like we are each other

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