Thursday, March 15, 2012

siren

It's thickly overcast, perfectly silvery, as though the African coast were a secret Narnia buried under a snowdrift. The filtered sun casts a cottony shroud over the ocean, drawing birdsong into silence, muffling the syncopated slap of waves. It's been a long time since I last submerged myself in saltwater.

You smelled like the sea.

There's a boogie board strapped to my wrist. It was the only thing from the encyclopedic rack of boards in the carport that would fit in the cabin of the golf-cart-sized car I'm driving. The board is festooned with smiling dolphins and, inexplicably, the planet Saturn. One dolphin leers up at me from the technicolor nonsense of the board, goading.

What a question.

A single jellyfish burbles by. A crab runs across the top of my foot, its movements feather-light needles on my skin. This ocean teems with life below its dancefloor surface, and I perch at the edge - me and my flourescent-dolphins-passing-Saturn boogie board - unable to see beyond the first line of breaks.

You're so careful with me. I like it.

I watch the glassy water swell into an azurite blueness, bubble into cloudlike white, then spread into a twisting, airy clarity as it passes the pillars of my legs. I wonder who invented the color "seafoam," and what made them think of it. I wade deeper.

The only way out of the foxhole was to shoot the SS gunner.

Submerged to the waist, I sashay along the beach in my shimmering skirt of sea. Sand-colored fish explode in neutral starburts as I move through them. Little remembered things swim across my thinking, then dart back into the depths.

I'll see you soon.

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