Evaporation by Greg Nicholl

They submit, let the current take them, their bodies

a tangle of elbows and knees that smack against

the portable pool. In the desert, every ounce of water

is coveted. Kids slosh in every direction, oblivious

why soil beyond the plush green lawn cracks. On the Pacific,

miles of beaches shift, claim entire towns, playgrounds

and cemeteries unaware they lie submerged at the bottom

of the ocean. Still whitecaps insist on forming, waves leap

toward the shore. If left to their own devices these backyards

would wither, the blades of the mower rusted. At dusk

kids lounge on towels, expose strap lines and sunburns

to the night air, the residue of pool water drying on their lips.

But any liquid left too long will sour. Tomorrow the kids

will squash the plastic wall, let the brackish water

flood the grass where it’ll quickly be absorbed.

Greg Nicholl
NichollGreg Nicholl lives in Baltimore and works in publishing. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Boulevard, Crab Orchard Review, Ecotone, Mid-American Review, Natural Bridge, Post Road, Prairie Schooner, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere.