Lake Michigan’s shore, summer
after eighth grade, we walk

out of spindly legs
into widening hips, enter

a new age — bodies strange,
slightly dangerous,

cross paths with some boys, couple
years older, muscles

like grown men or lions
who might pounce.

They cruise by on bikes,
feast their eyes on us.

Later, the ringleader,
shaggy mane, electric

blue gaze, calls out
to us from the water,

Come on, don’t you want
to swim deeper?

We giggle and decline,
but it’s the last time

not one of us will dare
dip a toe.