It Is Late and the Dunes

it is summer WEB-1.jpg

It is summer.  And it is raining.  The days are pressing down with that heavy romantic feeling that makes it impossible to do such mundane things as keep the house clean or put away laundry.  And I move through the hours like a Victorian woman standing at her bedroom window, wishing someone would feed and bathe her children so she might write poetry in the rain.

I am like that friend who laid down in the grass and the grass was so exquisite it made her cry.  A bluebird in a roof gutter, a robin in an overgrown yard.  Even the weeds sprawling from the cracks in the driveway are laden with inspiration.  And so I take long detours to drive past the river, I wear mascara to do last night’s dishes.  I dream of laying on blankets with strangers in the park, telling everyone how beautiful they are.

At night, my heart is too full to sleep.  I try to close my eyes but always on the other side of midnight there are things waiting to be seen.  My children sleeping, a perfect crescent moon.  A rectangle of light from the neighbor’s bedroom window cast against the wall.  A gust of wind, passing through the trees outside, branches like long dark arms that brush against the windowsill and enter the room.  And I am outside smoking cigarettes in the dark like I’m sixteen years old, or wandering around the backyard in my underwear until I’m caught by the motion detector light next door.  Up and down the street, every house light extinguished.  The world so quiet that breathing comes easier than it did before.

Do you remember laying awake at night and watching the headlights move across your bedroom wall?  A cup of water on the windowsill, the sound of adults moving through the rooms downstairs?  Even in this town there are hot muggy nights, sleeping without sheets, a window fan and the sound of a train in the distance.  All the elements for a perfect memory, and I think of my own children and know their childhood will be all right.

It is late and the dunes are a deserted country.  Stripping off our clothes, we run hell-bent into the ocean.  There is laughter, stillness.  A wave that picks you up and pushes you towards shore.  Though you fear the sharks will eat you, the water calls you home.