A Plum At The Community Pool

a plum

at the community pool

stung my tongue

it felt like

a jellyfish rash

behind the high dive

from which many

in my memory

have fallen

and died

is the jungle held back

by a pop–top quilt

perimeter fence

in there

carnivore tracks

barbarians

ant–colored blackberries

five–and–dime myths

the whole unthinkable world

and at the end of the mirror

strange gates

made of branches and vines

from the high dive plank

a boy might see in

might see the world

but the ladder only goes up

No Climbing

Backwards

reads

the sign

Only Diving Down

Or Cannon–balling Down

Or Belly–flopping Down

or only falling dizzy to the ambulance

then lost in the tarp

definitely dead

at least

to a kid

eating a plum

sitting on

an illustrated bed sheet

keeping down crabgrass

it is

i think

the architecture

of a teacup

there

is the towering high dive

eye of the world

and there

is the ram in the four–cornered thicket

full of tables and chairs

the shallow fountain

the olympic abyss

the easy maze of sidewalks

brilliant with footprints

waves will sweep

a plum–eater away

to the moat of the high dive

beyond which is the mystery

we’ve heard pieces of

at picnics

cold smoke from a freezer

red fire from a cigarette

toys stolen from classmates

pox caught from friends

plum in my belly

i made my body

a treasure chest

and let myself sink

to the floor of the mirror

where i could think

for as long as i

could hold my breath