Brad Reyes © 2004 All Rights Reserved
In a far recess of summer
Monks are playing soccer.
The sun’s brown bodies tumble down and into the water the swelter of turquoise cool wet wealthy thrashing. Down, down, under to gather the coins, to plunder under to gather the coins, to plunder the treasure, to scrape up the glinting silver, to brush away the worthless copper. Smartest and biggest and longest, we hold our breath the farthest, finning the fastest, we clean out the deep end down down where the big coins lie, surface them and pile them in our one sneaker left poolside a soggy purse in the splash. Our loot. Our cash. Winner takes all. We take tans, sun, heat, hot cement, lemonade, calm days, high dives, skinned knees, smoothed thighs, feeling better. Better than him, better than her, better than your mother’s yellow sweater. We win swim meets, races, hopscotch, money-dives, b-ball, t-ball, softball, badminton, ping-pong, four square. We see fireworks, town parades, art fairs, circuses; we lie in the grass, play in the zoo, and ride the horse in market square. We see a movie, write a play, build a bicycle, bake a cake. Winner takes all. We take heat, hot cement, lemonade, calm days, high dives, skinned knees, and golden thighs, feeling better. Better than him, better than her. Better than our mother’s newest sweater. She is a go-getter.
Martha Kinney’s first book, The Fall of Heartless Horse, is forthcoming from Akashic Books. She won the Menn Prize for Fiction at the University of Chicago, as well as the Olin Poetry Award, the Elizabeth Jones Writing Scholarship, and the Pazo Mayberry Poetry Award at the University of New Hampshire. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in San Francisco.
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