9.1

Looking back,
looking up,
that cliff behind you was long and tall
and jutting out like your chin does when you sleep,
your face bathed in the window’s sunlight.
How many rocks on that beach had another half at one point?
How many lay steps away from their whole selves?
Their only hope is that one day maybe the waves will lap onto shore and, in retreating, pull them floating and swirling back together and I don’t know if that’s tragic or
the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.

Looking down,
looking right at you,
my arms and legs wrapped around the smooth skin of your neck and the broad expanse of your shoulders and the part of your stomach just below where I can feel your ribs rippling underneath my roaming hands,
I know that the waves have already done me that favor.
If ever I didn’t feel whole, I don’t remember now.

Looking ahead,
looking out
at the place where the ocean drops off,
where it falls from a similar, far away cliff and blends with the sky
like paint on a paper plate,
I wonder if pieces of us will ever chip away and get kicked apart by
clumsy, shuffling feet
making us like the rocks on the beach whose whole selves lie just inches away
And I don’t know if that’s tragic or
the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.

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