Like some shimmering bronze goddess
she bounces through the gameroom
dripping wet in a yellow string bikini,

past the pink light of the pinball machines,
the Puerto Rican men breathing from cigars,
past the silver flicker of their Zippos,

the constant clearning of throats
that sounds like Amen,
the slurred voices that rise like smoke.

And then, outside, drifting like gossip
past the gaping red mouths of poinsettias,
white ribbons swimming

in the brown waves of her hair,
silver dolphin earrings
flickering like fishing lures—

past the boys in blue speedos
who stare at her from the snackbar,
past the hiss of candy wrappers,

the gaggle of girls who gawk at her
from their inner tubes,
who imagine themselves squeezing

into her tight yellow bikini,
their own smooth, tanned legs
propped atop the lifeguard’s boombox,

their own shiny manicured fingers
snapping to a new, hip song
that none of us knows.

our skin shining
like the three-carat rock
planted on her finger.


pacigar smoke

smoke rising
That summer

They’d give anything to see her

her cobalt-blue eyes winking
behind designer sunglasses,
her wet red lips puckering
in a makeup mirror.