As summer wore on, you became
less of a ghost.
Your skin tanned to meet
the shade of heat-struck grass.
The smell of citronella braided your hair.
Every day at the pool, you
with goggles and snorkel,
hid underwater and watched
the weightlessness of older girls
in bikinis, their legs
like pale mangrove roots, clean shaven.
(They would have forgiven you then.)
Submerged, there was no sound
but what you chose to hear.
A hot slab of concrete was the sunlit bed
that caught the wet print of your shadow.
And it amazed you
how your shape evaporated and shrunk back
into the air.
At night, when your mother called you home,
her voice seemed like something
bottomless and dark
the way it spread from the pine trees.