The palest sunrise, just coming over the ocean, a summer morn.
She sits with her surf board, in her wetsuit, waiting for the light.
Once, she saw a mermaid out in those bright, deep waters.
Once, she dreamed she was one, living under the ocean, so free.
The calm of the morning, no traffic on the highway by the beach.
No music or people making a commotion of their lives, of avoiding death.
She knows she’ll be no more one day, back to ashes and dirt and the sea.
Mermaids may live forever, but not a young woman, and not even our dreams.
The sun is soft at first light, like a mother who holds her infant so carefully.
But as the day gets older, as we get older, the harshness cannot be held back.
She picks up her surfboard and heads to the water, to the crashing azure waves.
A mermaid song calls out to her, reminding her that something remains, after all.
Dancing in a July afternoon, the sun veiled by a lazy white cloud,
casting gossamer shadows over your back, like the breath of angels.
Our swimsuits wet, our skin dry and flecked with white sand,
just as dancing to the wind and crashing waves, eternally restless.
Your head buried in my shoulder, my cheek, your hair silky soft.
I pull you tighter against me, as long as we’re alone, it’s alright.
July, almost gone, like the childhood that has sheltered us,
and the sweetness that made the mermaids sing to us.
Their is the crunch of gravel, the dull hum of an engine.
They’ve come home, the moment is over, I kiss your head.
The summer is turning gold and red.
There is a chill in the air.
The waters we walk by are silver, and still.
His hand is so warm in mine.
The day is moving towards night.
A nice little place by the sea.
Everyone’s gone home for the year.
A dinner by the eternally crashing sea.
We stay the night together, despite what’s taught.
I wish I could stay forever in his arms.
Morning, treacherous as always, has come.
In his uniform, with his bag, I don’t want to let go.
He’s been called and he must go.
One last kiss, and then he’s on the train for the front.
I weep quietly, for the boy I knew won’t come back.
Emma stargazer, in your backyard, looking up at the sky.
The countless suns and the endless worlds, the infinite dark.
Angels might reside in those far off worlds, a desperate paradise.
Maybe a better world, where we will not know the death of innocence.
A sorrowful aria in your headphones, a high call for solace in lost love.
A dream of a lover who left, a memory spoiled with his unkind words.
If you walked the ancient cities, the desolate crimson plains, silver skies,
the memory would fade in all the wonder, all the miracles of the universe.
To lay down on the cool grass, and look up into the stars, to just drift
as a sleep, perhaps enchanted, brought by weeping, sympathetic fey,
to those wonders long dreamed of, alone in the night, alone in the sky.
A dream of the worlds that offer all the miracles, and none of the bitterness.
Fireworks explode, candy reds, electric blues, noontime whites.
Sitting in the swings, rocking ourselves and holding hands,
we’re like children again, awed by noise and bright colors.
Mid Summer, and it’s been such a magnificent day together.
The fires in your eyes, the supernovas of earthbound stars.
The burning light that falls as ashes to the earth, to us below.
Summer so bright, so free, and slipping away forever into darkness.
I squeeze your hand, and you smile wide, not looking away from fire.
Just us in the park, everyone esle closer to the show, no eyes on us.
The last of the show, as it all blows up big, the explosions of a dream.
The stars wait patiently for these lowborn lights to fade and go.
I wait patiently to walk you home, hand in hand, hoping for a kiss.
Ellen baby, I push you on the swing, gentle, as the night falls.
A soft blue twilight, the first stars showing us their faces.
Summer’s end, but it’s to jobs, not school for us, all grown up.
We’ve been bound to each other, in spirit, and flesh, but what now?
You laugh as I tell you a joke, and that sound still soothes me to love.
The twilight fades to dusk, and you look up at the sky, at blossoming stars.
Summer’s end, and we’re on our own now, but will we walk that path together.
My love, my friend, where do we go as winter falls, as our world changes forever?
You get up from the swing, and take my hand, and we walk across the park.
Now it is night, and there are so many stars shedding their petals of light.
Summer’s end, and I imagine those petals as a path to the altar, for us to wed.
What are you thinking, my love? Will you be my wife when winter comes?
The waves crash, crystal blue and Coke bottle green.
The salty air stings her bare skin, whips her blonde hair.
In her swimsuit, her body a Greek sculpture, softly pink
and perfect, as strong as the sun that warms the air.
I follow her to the grotto, Artemis unblemished.
Our little world in the warm, clear waters away
from all that would sully us, destroy us, drown us.
Under the waves Sirens call us down into the deep.
We hold close in the water, rolling with the waves.
The magic is fading with our age, and can’t protect us.
Her body is warm and strong and I don’t trust these feelings.
She pulls me tight and I bury my face in that golden hair.
Walk hand in hand back to our subdivision above the ocean’s edge.
Holdings hands means more than it did as children, but does it mean romance?
We are silent, only our harsh, ragged breath making a sound above the surf.
Her hand is calloused and rough, and it’s the touch of Artemis, still free to run.
The girl is lost, in the tawny wheat of the steppes,
in the cold waters of the river washing past,
in the ruins of the city and corpses there.
The girl is lost, and I am lost, the world burned.
We hold close in the empty field in the summer after,
holding on like drowning sailors to driftwood.
The games we played are echoes in dreams
and voices and laughter half-remembered,
a phantasm of something lost.
The first kiss as we swam in the cold river.
Chasing each other through the tall wheat.
Looking up and the endless stars.
The girl is lost, and I am lost, our world burned.
The cannons and gunfire is silent for now.
The city built again.
It is the summer after, and we hold close,
her head laying upon my shoulder as she sleeps,
and I look up at stars that have never seemed so distant.