The swim team practices every afternoon at three,
all the beautiful boys living Davids
posed and peacocking
in their spandex Temple of echoes,
a shampoo commercial head-flip of wet hair out of eyes
mounting ladders one-handed,
surging up like suns.
This winter they dare each other to carve swastikas on desks,
take to heiling each other in hallways,
gleeful thrusts and knowing glances that send my heart scuttling –
all my tattoos condensing to numbers.
This is how we laugh now, they say.
We meant to give them other gods
than money and clear skin.
In our books, charts absolve the poor,
but we cheer their war games in pool, field, class
knowing we swim with sharks.
We prize their teeth,
forget our tender underbellies –
live vicariously Leviathan.
we, who meant to gentle them,
they, who burn to devour.
Emma Wynn teaches Philosophy & Religion, LGBTQ U.S. History, and Psychology at a boarding school in rural Connecticut. Her poetry is strongly influenced by her identity as a queer woman, a survivor of domestic abuse, and a Buddhist.