Breathing ice does not
flow into their white shawls of flesh.
It bites, murmurs of their slant nail
shields, explores their teardrop curves.
Soft crevices catch and cradle the cold blue
quips of liquid movement. Futile wiggling
now splashes into applause, not
the groans of rubber and foam and socks.
The coy sun ignites moist smiles
striking the riverbed feet.
Cages wait, spilled into the dirt,
evading wet freedom. For now
ten enslaved kin savor their swim,
probing the melting blue horizon as
it, in turn, pulses a flicker of feeling
where they hadn’t thought to look.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.