Not old enough to drive,
I took my first drink at age fifteen.
The sun bloomed inside me
like a second throat
and I have never been as brave since.
We were at the river skimming stones
finishing her uncle’s gin.
She was three years older,
wearing a polka-dot bikini
until she wasn’t.
“What’s the matter,” she said,
“never seen a mermaid before?”
I followed her splash,
both of us going under green water,
staying there forever entangled
before breaking through the surface,
out of breath,
and never young again.