I’m calf-deep in it. My knees
tickled by the violet waves.
Over the white Atlantic line
my grandfather is still dying.
Here, a woman lathers her skin
in salt. I ask, “How many went
swimming today?” She says, “None,”
sucks her orange teeth, lies.
None of the grey ones went in.

But her kid, I saw him: his supple ribs,
his flat nipples, and royal blue veins
splashed into the sea. I was Aschenbach
watching her beautiful boy.

I followed him.
Let my lungs go numb, lay
in the green murk. Far
from the other side, adrift
in the spectrum.



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