Float to Water

by Tina Barry

I don't remember the name of the boy in high school

or if I cried at his funeral

careful not to smear mascara

hoping after the priest spoke of God's will

weeping girls vowed friendship in the afterlife

I'd be beneath the arm of a boy

in a paneled basement

too stoned not to laugh


I remember potato chips' greasy aftermath

girls' patchouli   guys' sweat

the boy in high school's pink scalp beneath thin hair

train track of ribs

as wind lifted him in the parking lot

tumbling   arms flapping to entertain


The girl who sat beside him on the bridge

the end of her joint blinking, said

after his hat    scarf    plaid jacket

his jump was just like that day in the parking lot


            Arms           spread            wide