Swim Lesson
Richard Boada

He swallows his buoyancy, cheeks inflate, lungs fill
with the gross gulps of pool-water.  The bloom

of his airy voice fizzes upward in a globe.  His language
drags in the deep.  He resists expelling his breath and flits

his legs toward the surface.  His body’s a dizzy flare,
a palimpsest and nostalgic.  His body’s a morning in Paris,

garbage trucks rumbling on the brick roads, barges weighing
down the Quai de la Seine, glints off a stained glass window

trailing the sun slats on the river-water.  In the pool, their bodies
are now the magnificent branches of city trees reaching across a boulevard,

interlocking limbs and flowering big leaves.  All ripples disappear
when he stops galloping in the water and leans into her body,

his skinny forearms grazing her muscles.  Her hands firm
on his pelvis, his body drowsy.  She turns him on his back

to transform him into a streaking  comet. He pliés
against the translucent water and relies on her brightening hands.

Originally appeared in The Error of Nostalgia and Off the Coast, 2012

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