On the Lake by Jean Nordhaus

It’s Saturday night in the pavilion by the water
lake water lapping, lapping

          If your sweetheart

girls in a row, dangling our legs
from the ping-pong table shoved aside for dancing.
The boys all huddle in a pack
cutting up across the floor.

          Sends a letter of goodbye

Our Elvis-impersonator arrived this summer
with a thick, black fox pelt bisecting
his shaved skull, brow to nape.

          Cryin’ all the time

Hissidekick, Tommy, has dyed his hair blue.

Now the glamour-couple takes the floor.
She hangs from his neck like a medal.
Bagged rabbit, shot dove,

He wraps around her like a membrane.
Foreskin. Glove.

          It’s no secret

No one breathes.
Even the moon has lowered her eyes
to watch her wet reflection in the deep.
Jean Nordhaus’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Poetry, APR, and Gettysburg Review among other journals and in 5 collections, including The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn from Milkweed Editions and Innocence from Ohio State University Press. Her poem sequence “On the Road to Qumran” was a winner of the 2014 Tiferet Writing Contest. Her most recent collection is Memos from the Broken World, published by Mayapple Press in January, 2016. She is currently Reviews Editor of POET LORE.