A Ritual Observed Every July

The cool of the thick trees covering the dark river,

the hard rock kept untouched by harsh July sun.

Down all that way to the river, the sightless water,

the depths untouched and sacred in our summers.


Her hand is hot and dry in mine, a ritual observed.

We are in love. As of today, we’ve both become old

enough to marry, to move away, or fight in the wars

that are a dull roar in the distance, a rush of blood in the ears.


Her bathing suit is blue and white, after I said I liked that French girl.

I’m not sure what to think of what it makes me feel, so I look down.

Unlike the river, I am cursed with sight both all consuming and blind.

The shadows are the sweetest respite from unerring warmth.


We jump, crying out, a rush of velocity and the sharp pangs of

the cold water stealing our breath, a moment in the dark, Lazarus.

Then we are back in the sun, and she is smiling. She pulls me close.

Then she kisses me, hard and hungry, and I return every bit of it.


Jumping hand in hand, into the night, to rise again into the light.

Born and reborn and we are always something new, each day,

like the waters rushing towards the sea to come again in the rain.

We tread water, holding each other. We’ve always been in love.


And we always will be, but everything changes, and washes away.





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