Dec 11, 2012

Aquaman Thinks of His Youth

Written by Casey Thayer

Read by Matthew Guenette

First, the webs between his fingers found him
on the wrong side, then it was the scales

running up his arms. Then the unitard
his mother sewed. But he could swim and that

saved him, he could float like oil.
Every noon hour in the locker room

he put on Lycra before the rest banged
through the door and began wind-milling

towels. How long could he keep all this
hidden? His concave chest, his legs

fluttering through the pool, his ears buried
in the water’s roar. When he pulled out

ahead of the rest and took the medal, a chain
around his neck, no one cared he dressed

in the dark, that he kept his bedroom door
locked and slipped out to the lake alone.

In the days before the green skin, the gills
like grill marks along his throat, the cutting,

his arms ticked in crosses. The jig up, the lake
a magnet, a large target he squares himself to.