Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Spring 2008 Vol. 7 No. 1



Synchronized Swimming

Prim noseclips firmly in place‚ hair molded‚
bunned at the nape‚ even muscle groups schooled

into exact definitions‚ one body appears
cloned. Linked arm to shoulder‚ a female strand‚

the team enters the pool supple as an otter
flowing from a river-smooth rock to gather

itself into the first of the ornamental
formations. For this‚ they have land-drilled—

practicing poolside when and how to move‚
breathe‚ even their smiles choreographed.

Upside-down now to assume the vertical figure‚
stillness is as much part of this execution

as motion. Hands fluttering‚ the scull supports
legs scissoring the air before they close‚

plunging into the shimmering screen of water.
The girls’ disappearance so quick‚ precise‚

the surface tension barely perceives the clean
incisions—before they reappear with ease:

bright fragments inside a kaleidoscope
dialing inflorescent patterns of glass.  

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