Then She Asked If I Wanted to Get a Lime Snowball

Donatella Henry
My friend pulls up the edge of her swimsuit 
to expose her pale upper thigh 
and asks if her stickbug-thin stretch marks are normal.
I push the strap of my red and white
polka dot bikini out of the way, exposing the side
of my chest, show her the streaks of red
extending from my arms to my breasts,
lift my arm to exhibit squiggly lines
stretching from my armpit towards my elbow,
lift my leg out of the pool, rest it on the hot concrete
 to show her the stripes on my inner thighs, 
which, unlike my cartoonish arm squiggles,
are almost purple from years of chafing. I stretch
my leg to the sky, show her the light lines
extending from my knee crease that I hadn’t
noticed until I was shaving a few months 
ago, now added to the inventory. 
I lower the high waist of my 
bikini bottoms to show her the newest, reddest,
claw marks on my stomach,
the youngest of the bunch
and still going through their growth spurts.
I tug up my swimsuit bottoms, the way she did
at first, to show her the lightning bolts expanding across
my upper thighs. The July sun reflects on my skin
and I look almost iridescent.
I readjust and dip my feet back in the pool
to cool down. My friend does the same. We sit in 
silence, watching the sun dance across pool water.