Swim Team
Jennifer Newhouse

Swim Team

            Five A.M. wake-up. Sixteen
and determined to strip my body

            of its girlhood. I want taut triceps
and thighs. I’m doing this

            for him—shape shifting.
Or trying. My knees bend as the concrete

            bottom catches my size-
eleven feet. At 5’9, that slip

            into the water is more jump
than anything skilled. Strokes self-conscious

            and clumsy. Even my goggles
steam, leave red rings. Distort me.

Jennifer Newhouse

is an assistant professor of creative writing at Chowan University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in SAND, Nimrod, Salamander, Triquarterly, Blue Lyra, Canary and other journals.