There’s a cliff near the lake where you can jump without fear of getting hurt.
It’s in view of the dam, too. So everyone driving past can see.
We could dive, and a fall would last long enough to yell whatever we felt like yelling.
But when you dove, you didn’t reach the lake.
You were trapped, just a foot or so above the water, just hanging there.
You looked great hanging there. Your muscles were taut.
They twitched every so often.
Everyone was watching you because you were either perfect or horrifying.
So much time passed that you got used to floating there.
You realized you could turn onto your back.
You were happier than ever.
You watched us dive whenever we came back. You complimented our form.
You still had to eat, suspended there. So we brought you light, tossable items.
You shelled the pistachios with your toes, arced them perfectly toward your mouth.
You thinned out regardless. And when you were invisible, we had to stop diving.
This poem is from Kate Jury Denton Texas, a book of poems written collaboratively by Colin Winnette and Ben Clark. Colin Winnette is the author of four books of fiction: Revelation (Mutable Sound 2011), Animal Collection (Spork Press 2012), Gainesville (forthcoming Atticus Books 2013), and In One Story, The Two Sisters (forthcoming Atticus Books 2013). He was a Finalist for the 1913 Press First Book Award. He can be found online at www.colinwinnette.com. Ben Clark is the author of Reasons to Leave the Slaughter (Write Bloody 2011). He can be found online at www.benclarkpoetry.com. They both live in Chicago.