Spring break

Michael Mark

When the girl puts on her necklaces &
bracelets & lotions she’s not thinking 

whoever she will meet tonight 
will meet her family.

When the boy does 200 pushups & oils 
his muscles in the motel’s mirror

he’s not thinking about his girl
back home.

When he’s dangling his feet off the dock
he isn’t thinking about anything but Florida's

hundred degrees soaking into his shoulders, 
last night’s Southern Comfort

stinging his mouth & the girl’s nails
slicing along his back.

When the barracuda strikes at the glint 
it isn’t thinking it’s a necklace that belonged

to a girl who wrapped it three times around
the ankle of a boy who was thinking 

he would give it to his girlfriend
when he saw her in three days.

When the boy feels a pain in his foot
he isn't thinking three of his toes

are between the teeth of a fish
speeding into the dark Atlantic—

flash & flesh.