In the Magothy


Moon jellies hang in the water
thick and clumped like weeds.
In this brackish hour their bodies
flatten to Frisbees, although much
smaller. They could be translucent
silver dollars in the bay as the tide
highways them along.
They ghost a path through sunset
water and ripple in the current,
unaware of the young eyes scanning
space, the two girls assessing a plunge
from the dock if they can spot a moment
empty enough. No real danger
I tell them, but they fear these
undulations. Too small for even
a bee sting worth of pain,
but they wait, uncertain and wanting
their end of summer swim,
longing for the bay to wash away
the heat. I watch their reticence,
their hesitance, as they stare
at these milky orbs floating
on their own, unknown agenda.
We are here for the simple,
familiar joy of bodies loose
in the wet, the sound of feet
pounding on a wooden dock
as small waves rock against
the pilings. Holding hands, they
leap, at last, through the flaming
hoop of their fear and land
on the other side with a splash,
where they swim in the flick
and touch of translucent cells
inhabiting the same radiant
second of time and change.