The sky is a Rothko of orange-pink paint
smeared with fingertips and the ball of a hand.
The water below is still-black, unmoving-black,
undisturbed, quiet ballooned lungs, festering.
The sun’s umber flames are swallowed into the ocean,
and thin dim-cool light casts over silhouettes, tumbling.
Sand-grains fill every crevice of their shorts,
seep into worn daps, and tickle their toes.
Their football leaps and bows, arched in the sky,
mimics the starlings in its night-time flight.
The boys dive like dogs, tackle, run, unaware
of the water spitting up its truth.
A fin breaks the surface, splits the sea in two,
the slick hump of a dolphin’s back.
The ripple-cracked waves break and bob,
boys play on, lanky shadows and boat-like feet.
The dolphin is a speck as the water holds its breath
for fear of spilling its secrets.