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.