That volcanic August, the asphalt steamed
behind their older cousin’s El Camino,
a car so hot no one questioned why
it sported a pick-up bed, or why it took
them to skinny-dip at the long- abandoned quarry.
On the path through the woods, they foraged for sex without
knowing it, plucking shapely fungi
and curling moss. They came to the water before
it was too late. Years before one lost
an arm to the road and another lost his life
to it, the boys jumped feet first from the cliff,
cupping hands in prayer around their genitalia.
The flower-power girls dove in before
rapes, abortions, cancers, free-fall naked
without a single consequence, their hands
the points of spades cleaving the mirror.
Treading water, they traded stories of boys
who’d broken their necks and girls who’d disappeared.
The well of rainfall, fluent in the tongue
of silk, praised their barest skin and cooled them.
Previously published in Back East, Moon Pie Press, 2013