The fat man with purple sores all over his legs
is looking at me, and I am elaborately
not looking at him, as we wait for children
to clear the pool and laps to begin.
Shall I call the lifeguard? I’m afraid
of the fat man with his almost-open sores
I don’t tell her, and I don’t ask what it will mean
to climb into the pool with him, because no one can say,
and when I lay my body into the slow lane alongside his,
where he can’t keep from brushing, from touching me
as we roll to breathe, at the end of every lap
he is waiting, he is watching, he is looking at me.
“Pool” is from The Charge (Ausable Press, 2003).