In Your America
(for Edward Hopper)
Red swimsuits. Apricot-colored light coming through the banyan branches. Mother kept it alive against the tree surgeon’s warnings. Hollering blue jays. Us girls in the pool. We took turns speaking sentences underwater and tried to figure out what the other person was saying.
Even in rain we swam. Father on the porch, hands on his hips. He was a dappled image that melted from the waist down. At his office hung a framed photo of a waterfall. It always looked like a bride to me: foam, the gossamer gown; lashed rocks, her brown hair.
Stars shocked us at night. They crowded so closely together, as if the entire sky was the belly of a speckled animal. A new, benevolent planet suspended above our heads.