Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 113 in 2007.
A few ridges south of half-moon arch,
with Joe skipping rocks against the side of an oak
fallen across this creek,
where I bathed pale as night rock
years ago in May.
Skipping turned into bowling,
the craggiest fist-sized chunks
we could find amid the bank-side.
Who can take the longest-echoing
gash out of the slippery bridge?
Then, laughing, prying
from an ass-out squat,
head back so tight
every ridge and valley of the neck out
like silk pulled tight over roots,
big chunks heaved with two hands
from shoulder, most falling short,
splashing us with January ice-water,
and then down to the next pry.
Look up to see Bert
fast-legging it down a hill
in sneakers and orange-striped boxers,
right into the water.
“Shit that’s cold! Shit that’s cold!”