A girl wearing a two-piece
and waterproof mascara
joins me in the slow lane:
we breaststroke clockwise.
During my seventh length,
she strokes my forearm
as she passes. At nine
lengths I touch her calf.
She has shaved well.
Underwater, she’s magnified
with sharp hips I could
handstand on. Her toenails
are painted. At fourteen,
she frog-kicks me in the thigh
but keeps on swimming.
I stop at the shallow end,
there is a wisp of blood
trailing from my leg.
I use the locker key
round my wrist to worry
the nick until it seeps
like a put-out candle.
I swim and swim
and don’t feel tired.

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