By Julie Marie Wade

I saw clearly then what could be possible. Sex
like an exit sign. (Flashing. Flashing.) With
some ceremony, I discarded my clothes and
descended the starboard ladder. Enter the boy.
Enter the long smooth board of his body. We
are swimming circles together, my flesh
puckering with cold and more than cold, and
he keeps asking, “Do you wanna go somewhere?”
and I am thinking only, where would we go?
All of Puget Sound shimmering around us, the
blade of him sharp between my legs. My
mother, from the shoreline, shouting my name,
the speedboat circling back, and a tambourine
shiver in my stomach—this triumvirate power:
to tempt, to succumb, to deny.