The air was golden
That summer hue
Rippling reflections shimmering
Water’s surface unsteady and uncertain
It was hot
That sort of hot
Syringe suction sucking the sweat from your body
Like a blanket you cannot get out from under
I sat in the shade
Tshirt board shorts
You jumped into the pool
One piece and goggles
You didn’t understand why I need to wear so many clothes
Her voice in my head
Telling me to put it all on
“Otherwise you will look like a potato sack” she says with her scale tongue
I say nothing
I hug the towel around me tighter
I want to jump in the water
I want to feel the unashamed abandon you feel
But my mother’s voice
Like a priest telling the gospel
Plays over and over
And I envy you.
You get out of the pool and I warn you to be careful for the bees
I am wearing shoes so they do not sting me
You only dance over the hot grass
The bees dance too
Flower to flower
“Did you know these flowers have honey in them?” You say.
No, they don’t.
But I do not say
“Nobody likes a know it all. Nobody wants you to tell them they are wrong. You won’t make friends if you keep talking and talking.”
The sermon plays
You drink from the flowers
This liquid is my blood
She offers me a taste
“Fit in. You will never have friends if you don’t try to fit in,” says my mother the preacher.
I take the flower in my smal hands
I know it is not honey.
But the reward may be sweeter
“Drink,” you say.
And I bring the tiny cup to my lips…
But I do not drink.
I throw it away.
Your face angry
As if I had slapped you
The refusal of your cool girl koolaid
You turn away from me and scream
“Be careful of the bees,” I remind you as you pull the stinger out of your skin and I shed my layers and dive on in.