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
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.