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I Exist Inside an Invisible Poem Everlasting & Overflowing: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
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Bernice Holtzman: Pools

104_ym_pools_bernice.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2024

Pools

 

by Bernice Holtzman

 

I’m floating in my best friend’s pool

The first day after school ended

Wearing a new bikini

My first one

“Look at you,” her mother said

The next three months stretched for miles

Into a hazy endless summer collage

Hot days of boys and crushes

Warm nights of grown-up parties

My first slow dance

And a second later, my first real kiss

 

At midnight we ran through the woods

Holding tree branches back for the ones behind us

Giggling as the obedient ones slept

We brazen bad girls

And jumped the fence to skinny dip in the camp pool

Amazed at the new sensations on my body

Drunk with the gulp I had just taken of life

And thinking this must be what everyone is talking about

Later, on the fire escape

My hair still damp

Breathing in the chlorine drying on my skin

We sat looking up at the night
My whole life a canvas to be sketched, painted, embellished, painted over
The possibilities as infinite and bright
As the glittering mural above us

I still find pools
They’ve always been there
Waiting to be discovered
Peeling clothes off, I run to them
And they welcome me
Reflecting the magic of every first time
As I stand poised on the edge
Breath held
About to dive in.

 

 

Bernice Holtzman 4/99

 

Bernice Holtzman is an author of poems, short fiction, autobiographical pieces, two (so far) children’s stories, and all manner of clever commentary. Her work has appeared in The National Poetry Magazine of the Lower East Side. That was 30 years ago, and she’s still talking about it.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2024