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Naked Man, Drowning

Late Fall. A dearth of stars above this public pool. Constellations seem more like a convention of every connect-the-dots puzzle you never finished as a child. To get caught is to feel the flashlight's hot shame, a sudden exposure of your infrequent visits here to the neighbors and their labels. And what explanation will you suffer to deliver unto your daughter and ex-wife? The hard years of impulsive leaps should have dispersed.

Yesterday, without the realization of your presence, a couple slipped through the paneled fence and stripped. Their fresh nakedness filling you with sudden sense of community. A pale fluorescence. Not entirely warm, but enough to sustain for the evening after their shock and subsequent departure.

Tonight, nothing. Only the ripples of water and flesh. Breaststroke and devil-may-care backstroke. Your genitals free to observe the cacophony of a life free of zippered exclusion. Secretly, you wish for the last of this summer humidity to brave others into your discovery. To float between the concrete edges is a lesser, more lyric form of flight. In small measures, you crack your mouth into a smile and swallow. Only enough to keep your mouth from drying. You can't remember the percentage of human tissue that is comprised of water, though it does not seem adequate. If you could, you would flex your muscles until they split into tiny waves and swam away into molecules more hydrogen than air. Keep breathing. Only a few strokes away from the shallow end.

Story by:

J.D. Hibbitts

24 August 2012