The boy watches from the muscled hill.

All around is green but the water cuts dark.

The girls are deer grazing, smoking long cigarettes.

They have not shaved for him, the hills, the water.

On their mouths is the taste of mint, he is sure

the cigarettes have been stolen from Mother.

He recognizes the gold glint of the brand.

His sister’s friend removes her plain tank-top.

The deer, unfazed, watch his sister follow.

Hers are bigger, smooth as heavy rocks found

at the bottom of the stream where he tickles trout.

They are fresh, white nets — pink tips of good bait.


He feels the current, the rising of water.

His sister rests on her elbows, touches

a hard spine. And then comes the shower:

the boy, stones stocked at his feet. His sister,

her friend; blushing, red targets.


First published in Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, 2010.