Join Me in the Lake

Heat of summer, forever-long afternoons
of sun bearing down almost violently
have turned the lake into a warm bath.
Dark comes and this is the place to which we drive.

Four of us share this night, now a tepid oven.
Our group walks, laughing, along two edges:
where city park meets lapping water, and
where youth rushes too soon into adulthood.

The sky is black, the distant hills flicker
with neighbors’ white house lights, and
somewhere nearby is the whir of the freeway.
I do not think we can be seen

and so I remove my clothes
and wade in, up to my small naked belly
at which point I turn back to see you
still standing on the shore.

Someday when you are free enough to
revel in a night swim, then I will know,
though I will not at first say it aloud,
that I have seen myself in someone else.

(March 2, 2019)

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Woman’s Intuition

They say rain will come tomorrow
but I sense it will arrive overnight,
and before the newly birthed day
looks up to find it has become morning
– during the intimate crevice between
ends and beginnings – I may wake
to the sound of the earth
washing itself in the dark.
This is what my bones say.
I am woman.
I feel what is to come.

And you: will you return?
The child thumping across my chest,
bending my ribs, a streak
of anxious wanting coursing in my arms
says this is not the time to plant,
when the soil still needs turning.
Again, I wake in the motionless hours
and consider the intimate spaces.
I long for them as ground for rain.
I must wash myself of this.
I am woman.
I feel what is to come.

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In My Peripheral

I know you by your footsteps
by the cadence of
your body
in the corner of my eye,
moving into view
barely
brushing against my peripheral.
I know you by the electricity
in my back
in my shoulders, buzzing
as nested wasps stir
when the outside world
draws too near;
all the while
immovable
– the hushed hunter –
waiting for the right moment.
I wish I would
not think of it as an attack.
Even the quietest hello
is not so easy.

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