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Water Play

You told me how to see your body like lore; together,

all thighs and too-wide elbows, we curled into a showertub &

you shared your snowcap knees, ascended by acorn

fairies and wee rubber dinosaurs & those knees became 

islands uneroded by bathsplash & how, as a girl, they would dam 

shower-fall, collect for whole ecosystems, release

unto an unsuspecting drain. Now, I clutch onto the pretend

of being seen in skin & soak— but my Goddess, 

your breasts pressed against the blessed 

glass of a shower door as many an eager 90s kid scrunched 

all manner of cheeks against copy machines—

Now, we puzzle our legs together and tell no stories—

Just bodies— Power collecting in collarbone 

ponds. What is pretend if not 

pretext, narrative? —of how your body created 

herself and how our legs, now, choose what is real 


Jeni Prater (she/they) is published or forthcoming in Apogee Journal, Hooligan Mag, Wax Poetry: 45 Poems of Protest & elsewhere and was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize at Wellesley College. Their poems explore queer joy and nonbinary parenthood. She is an MFA candidate at Randolph College and Accessibility Coordinator for Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam. Jeni lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with their wife.