late into california’s indian summer you climb
onto your father’s back    wrap your arms around his neck
and slide into the depths of your grandmother’s
pool      the same one you’re afraid to enter
after dark for fear of sea monsters slithering in through the filters
in the shadows of a starless night 
even now beneath the midday sun you will not
let go       your legs clasped like irons around his torso  
pinch me if you need to breathe he says
before diving toward the cement floor    his long arms gliding
like a manta ray keen on kissing the sea bottom  
your bodies settling into the quiet like an anchor —
your father does not have a language for depression
for the soundless blue   for what settles like the weight
of an ocean overhead    you open your eyes below water
wanting to see as he sees    his hair coiled and scratchy
against your cheek     you hold your breath till it burns in your throat
determined to be with him a little longer       to feel
the way his muscles move
pulling you both through the deep