Quarry Angel


By Sean Prentiss

When a boy likes a girl in Bangor, Pennsylvania
He doesn’t bring her roses. Our boy says, Come
To the quarry
 because the water will be cold and the July
Night shale black. The boy leaves his clothes scattered
(On rocks) like autumn leaves then he dives into the blue-black.
The girl, awkward and afraid—she’s never skinny dipped before—
Slowly peels off her shirt, her tan bra, leaves them
Atop neatly folded panties. Then she’s an ash-white angel
Running and leaping into the air to fly over every dark thing:
Our boy treading water, this town that has exhaled since the day
Of its founding, its 198 years of prayers gone wrong,
The quarries where men, maybe hundreds, once cut slate
From this pit but now sit every night at long bars with mugs
Of Yuengling. But what she had hoped were angel wings are merely
Arms so she falls toward the water. There is a splash. Her rippling circles.


Sean Prentiss is the co-editor of The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, a creative nonfiction craft anthology. He lives on a small lake in northern Vermont and serves as an assistant professor at Norwich University. http://srprentiss.wix.com/seanprentiss