Princess Diaries No. 3: Pool

For Daniel, Cory, & Jahmar 

Who can hold their breath the longest? 

Who can chase waterfalls off the high dive, do the best Left Eye? Who can mermaid the length of the lap pool? 

Who can do the best Ariel, bursting out of the surf? Dive & surface, tuck & pop 

Dripping drama, drenched in camp 

1994 & somehow we are free 

To be merpersons, mer-made 

To whip our wild hair deliciously 

Teenage daughters of a muscular sea-king 

In the back of Daniel’s Dad’s Suburban 

Wading through the Taco Bell drive thru 

Wild Cherry Pepsi, Gordita Supreme, TLC on blast It’s the last summer we have to drift 

In this water, with each other 

In our bodies, with no shame 

Soon enough we’ll grow our legs 

Shed our iridescence.

Caleb Nichols (he/they) is a queer writer from California, occupying Tilhini, the Place of the Full Moon, the unceded territory of the yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini tribe. His poetry has been featured in Redivider, Perhappened Mag, DEAR Poetry Journal, and elsewhere, and their chapbook, Teems///\\\Recedes is forthcoming from Kelp Books. Follow him on Twitter: @seanickels.

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