Steam heat escapes from my kneecaps as I look out on a tree and contemplate the fragility of its leaves. The fragility of my own knees, knocking in toward one another, naked and beaded with sauna sweat and chlorine. The fact that when I write I sometimes say what sounds beautiful or fragile or profound over what’s true. I wonder if readers can see through that.
I scratch the salt and sand from my scalp, nature’s exfoliators embedded from yesterday’s beach bumming. My sunburn smarts in the warm tub water and the wooden bench I sit upon, my mind still hazy from joint smoke and marine layer or maybe newly lazy from the sizzle and pop of hot rocks and the babble of the garden waterfall. It’s amazing what calm and respite from city sounds can do for the body and mind.
The breeze leads the waxy leaves in a shadow dance against the wooden window slats, where the light is made to look like it’s opening and closing its sleepy eyes. It’s only leaves, breeze, and light, I know, but I am grateful for the personification; it lets me know my thoughts are free, and that I am perfectly at ease.
I kiss you to death.
You go slowly, painfully,
But without a fight.
Dipping my toe in
To ensure the cold
Doesn’t grip hold
The surface is sun-warmed
And I am weary from walking for so long in the heat
The perpetual babble
Tickles the innards of my ears,
Lightly tapping on the sensitive drums,
Filling my head with a melody that
Cuts through the pounding of my heart,
The harshness of my labored breath
Both feet in now,
Still in the shallows
But a little craving,
Half curious, half crazed,
Wants to further my steps
This is a welcome river, I can tell
From the gentle swells
That swirl and ebb and silkily snake
Between the webbing of my toes
And my hands as I place them on top of
The wet and clear surface
To glide like giant water skeeters
Skating in fits and starts
Elbow deep, I dunk my head
Leaving my body dry
As I hold my breath and close my eyes
I rear up and back
Face dripping, hair drenched and slack
And suddenly I am parched
I want to cup my hands,
Swoop them down, under, and up to my lips
To gulp down deliciousness
But I know I must
First sip to adjust