George Guida


They look sixteen, the two dark girls from out of town.
The two light boys, who could be brothers, submerge themselves,
come up with the girls on their shoulders.

Pinching her nose, the first girl, less pretty
but happier than her near twin, flips
from broad shoulders in a perfect arc. She got air

the first boy yells, to say something that will make her feel
she’s got him for their time here. She’s got him
by the pool; at the ping-pong table; on the cabana chairs;

behind the dunes; in the shallows of the gulf; in a lobby corner
where after nine it’s mostly dark. She’s his discovery,
his night of wondering how to wear a shirt, lying

in a hotel bed alone, imagining her darker skin on his,
remembering her squeals as she leapt
into the balmy water like the nights 

that launch themselves from youth the way
flares do and end as unseen smoke
in the sleeping gulf. She can do only things like smile

and smell like heaven. She can occupy the world
like a color. He wants to admit I am not enough
to keep you. I am someone else who will disappear

when my family goes home. You don’t exist
without my brother and your cousin in the waves.
We are currents. We come to make the weather begin.

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