Sunday, January 2, 2011

Assateague Island, New Year's Night

His chest rose and crashed like waves on sand.
I lied awake listening to both,
nestling in by his side, catching his heat in mine,
cold air whistling through the damp nets of our tent.

The embers had cooled,
my giggling friends gone in slumber.
All I knew was myself,
drippy nose, eyes open, tasting the dew of the hidden moon
and my tender midnight fear.

Sometimes I like to keep the flashlight a glow
a little longer than needed
so I can lay there wondering, without falling asleep,
if I'll ever feel normal in the wild.

That night there were horses licking the bottom of my steel pan,
and old fears washed up on the shore with the shells.
The shells--the shells spoke to me with fury,
writing messages beyond paper, beyond words.

I listened, as the waves gave their soul to the sand,
as the clouds kissed purple through the sky,
as my own teeth calmed their chattering mistrust.

I lay awake next to my love,
eyes open to the peaking and retreating night.
I lay awake there in silence,
tasting strength on my tongue,
hearing songs of powerful wind--
thanking the Wild Surrender,
that I could just as soon, call my own.
Just as soon as the geese call bridges
their staircase to the sky.

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