They’re all here, the doctor’s wife,
so alone she’ll talk to anyone,
including herself, the Nicaraguan
boy scaring smaller children,
too heavy to play like the others,
even in water, his tattooed teenaged
sister in shorts and black t-shirt
so wet it sags dangerously low,
a tanning-table, siliconed mom
who sends her boy to play while she
assumes the most conspicuous chaise,
soaking up every glance, returning
appreciation with perfect teeth.
The lifeguards grow jealous. Trapped
in athletic suits on towered chairs,
they look for reasons to remove her,
ignore the boy in Spiderman underwear
that won’t stay up, the old man with athletic
shorts instead of trunks, pockets
pulled out like lascivious bladders.
They dive into cool water to temper
the heat of frustrations, drown
sorrow and disappointment.
They see in each other’s face
a common sadness, carry a collective
dream of what they haven’t got,
the backyard pool, perfect children,
six-pack abs, and the husband who cares.