Anna Kelley

NIGHT SWIM

 

To this day, the only summer I long for

is the summer Mary Katherine housesat
for a rich family and I drove out with the boys

one night to visit her. Because while the boys
watched a television finale in the mini-cinema

we walked barefoot through the house in awe
of how every room unwound into another room,

the stairs ceaseless, hallways spilling dreamlike
into pebble-paved bathrooms with soft piles

of Turkish towels. I was beset by hunger for
an authentic sword in the little son’s bedroom

that I dared not touch. And almost as much for
the cavernous pantry, the two-door glacial thrust

of the fridge. They said to take anything, she said
so we made a small bounty on the kitchen table

to eat with our hands. What I remember most
is how Mary Katherine held each chip aloft

as if to check for flaws before she bit into it.
The salt on her lips. Her immaculate red dress.

After, we changed to swimsuits in the pool house
with no shame for our bodies. I dropped myself

into the warm bitter waters and sank to the bottom.
When I opened my eyes, I saw she’d thrown down

the diving rods, which littered the pool floor
like stained-glass bottles. The lights humming

as though the whole blue world had gone electric.


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