On The Dock
by Ellen Goldsmith

    __________________for Vic

    Inch by inch, I walked in
    delaying yet wanting water
    to conceal my body
    the words in my head the whole time
    "I'm swimming with one breast."

    Today I take easy strokes from the beach
    to the dock in my new bathing suit
    its flowered frills fluttering
    over my boyish chest
    Earlier you took a picture of me
    held the camera the long way
    I bent my leg, arched my back

    You've walked to the dock from the house
    You roll your pants up, far as they'll go
    dangle your feet in the water
    I see your blunted right toe
    a good part of it sliced off by a lawnmower
    before I knew you
    Sunnies are inspecting your feet
    They peck at your toes
    your soles, your legs
    Fish groom each other too, you tell me
    One pecks hard. You say
    "Cool it buddy. Leave my hairs alone."
    We laugh, together

    on this dock as we haven't in a long while
    The sun shines so steadily

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