By: Taegan MacLean
basilisk flotation device,
the snarling green pool demon.
brother, you were never afraid.
little heart pumping Achilles’ blood.
you’d point to a roiling ocean,
to lava, to swamp water, call it juice.
dad by the pool reading Playboy,
his skin soaking in August sun.
we’d tease him for his nudie mags
wishing he’d jump in and hurl us in the air.
brother, notice how he throws you higher?
for you laugh while i scream.
fistfuls of Pina Colada jelly beans,
cavities don’t count till adult teeth.
i’d dare you to watch horror films,
you’d dream of heads splitting open.
i’d take satisfaction in your plight.
my big bro years, a power over you.
when i’d hide my arm under the cushions
and beg for your help against the beasts?
mom and dad yelling to quit the teasing.
you pulling me up by my shoulders,
tears in your eyes – don’t leave me, don’t die!
my friends over, all pimples and big teeth.
i dive in and pretend the basilisk got me.
the pool roiling, the dogs barking.
we laugh as you hurry to save me.
the fury in your eyes, little Achilles.
how foolish we were, it was just juice to you.
Taegan MacLean lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.