Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Watching the tide roll away . . .


August. I am sitting on the dock, reading, and you are lying on your turquoise towel, face lit by the sun. The lake rocks around us, ever ever, quietly.

These are the same green hills Edith
Wharton camped in while fleshing out the Ethan Fromes . . of the world.

Earlier, you said you would like to own two dogs, and while I was taking my walk up Chestnut Hill I thought about whether a dog might not have made Ethan's life bearable, if he'd have aspired to break away and marry better than he did.

Of course, Edith didn't marry all that well either, her shameless husband-in-the-garden-dancing, naked, in these hills of lunatic beauty.

All of this makes me aware of my own happiness. I am happy, happy and very much at peace here with you.

Then, from . . across the lake a dog yowls. Another answers from , , some distant compound on the far side of the hill.

Drawn from my book, I set my eyes on you. You are breathing and I am breathing and I see what lies inside of you, hordes of summer flowers, hyacinths, and long horizons steeped in light. I see past the gentle reckoning of your thighs, the soft rising and falling of your stomach. My eyes bear down on the steely water of the lake shining through you.

You wake to see.

I have taken away my clothing and I am dancing all around. All my beauties and uglies are turned silhouette against the sky.

You must raise your hand to shield your bleary eyes against the sun.

Skirting the edge of the dock, I am dancing until the light locks up, until it is grown so solid I can no longer move against it. I am immobilized, belighted. My shadow breaks away, bounds over the rocks, climbs up into the trees and disappears. I expand like heat, and you are like an echo, like signaling flecks of sun on water.

The lake tips.

In the cool dark hours, the absence that my shadow left rouses me from sleep. I hear, its footfalls on branches, just outside our bedroom, the leaves it rustles as it sniffs its way through the lightless halls of night. You remain quiet, ever ever, and touch me with your hands so I can close my eyes. They curl up on my face like two old dogs warmed by fire.

This is how it is to love you,
which I do.

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