you swam up to me overhand, face down in the water
just after there had been Words (unrelated to us)
everyone standing around the pool tense;
they had drained the water after that "it's too cold"
my little group being the last to sit down
like some odd and ancient ritual combat
in which we inadvertently participated

and without a word after a beat you kissed me
looked off to the side and said "i'm such a turd"
i touched your shoulder, "no---but
are we related?" it was a joke at this family reunion
for a family i am not a part of (officially at least)
but the squinch of your brow "nah, of course not"
withdrawal and muttered half sentences betrayed
that i had accidentally rattled you;
pushing a finger toward you i said "but
what's your /name/?"

smiling six inches from me again, you drew out the ending ee "mercury---
what's yours?" it was all i could do not to caress your face
which i should have because
why not?

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