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To the Loch Ness photo

Or more specifically its monster,
        long tail whisper
in our swimming pool: in a valley
        girl’s mind. Girls, mind
the valley,

its cunts, the dark water,
        Jurassic trees’ sweep
late at night—Riot
        Grrl Loch Ness is churning.
We towel off, full

frothed, Sweet Valley
        Ophelias, who haven’t quite
drowned. No, we float by the usual
        suburban fiends—the parent
who uses, the lover/

aggressor who lays  in wait
        by the lockers, the janitor
who slithers, hey girls show me
        your tits. A Yale interviewer rubs
his thumbs under bra

straps, puts his hands on my hips.
        From our pool an LA River
is beginning to course. Podge emerges
        from pre-teen, grows up heart-first
like some women

just have to do. She loves a man
        who tries to kill her.
She slits his face with fingernails;
        tries to kill him back. We fish
whole futures from stank

waters, keep monsters fed. Shelter
        perversion. Mostly others’. Sometimes
ours. We say nothing’s dead that couldn’t once
        be living. Every single fossil out there
once managed to survive.


image: Aaron Burch