ursula's dream (ursulasdream) wrote in great_poems,
ursula's dream
ursulasdream
great_poems

California Swimming Pool (Sharon Olds)

On the dirt, the dead live-oak leaves
lay like dried-out turtle shells,
scorched and crisp, their points sharp as
wasps' stingers. Sated mosquitoes
hung in the air like sharks in water,
and when you hold up a tuna sandwich
a gold sphere of yellow-jackets
formed around your hand in the air
and moved when you moved. Everything circled
around the great pool, blue and
glittering as the sacred waters at
Crocodilopolis, and the boys
came from underwater like that
to pull you down. But the true center was the
dressing rooms: the wet suits,
the smell of chlorine, cold concrete,
the splintered pine wall, on the other
side of which were boys, actually
naked there in air clouded as the
shadows at the bottom of the pool, where the crocodiles
glistened in their slick skins. All summer
the knothole in the wall hissed at me
come see, come see, come eat and be eaten.
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