Three High Schoolers by Drowning

by Jackson Holbert

They tore the brittle lattices
of branches & the lake

was a bar of silver.
They watched the callouses

of the moon efface the water,
then cliff, then road.

The sun had taught them
the directions & at noon

they drank from hoses
& on the porch collapsed

on mattresses stained with beer.
When they went back

it was dark & one of them
faltered, awkward on the dirt

lip, fell
through water

then one dove after him
then one dove after.

It took a helicopter
to find them

& two men with poles
to pull them from the lake

& when their skin tore
it tore like tissue paper

& when you put your head
near their stopped hearts

you could hear fish
knock against their ribs.