We dread already the blue-skinned plunge,
the tedious pool, where time winnows
the rangy, sun-slanted afternoons
to minutes earned breath by disciplined breath.
So we stretch that pre-practice hour long
as winter, fill it with wildish fun.
A hidden tree by the football field,
white cigarette smoke in greying sky.
I inhale his exhale, inflating
as he deflates, one slow, ghostly breath
passed from his pool-strong lungs to mine, drawn
long and deep as a dive, swallowed whole.