Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Vacation Reel

A hint of yellow around every edge
and white scratches like shooting stars
but my god, you, stepping out of our ’56 Ford
and onto the beach, you slipping out of your shoes,
the wind filling your hair and there
from behind your skirt a little girl with matching face,
just-walking, falling to the sand, brushing off
and running crying from the waves
and into your arms to be twirled high
in the air, your lips saying look, look
at daddy but mostly the way you looked at me,
then, as if to say, see what you’ve done, and what’s more
if you’re good we’ll do it again just maybe
and oh I was very very good.

And did you know at the time—does anyone
know?—that this would be your best time,
that your smile would never again be so true,
those legs, flashing in and out of sight,
never so inviting, so quick to dance, this 8-millimeter
life now swimming in amber would taste
the sweeter year after year even as and because
we would so soon stop believing in such summers,
flickers of doubt finding their way
into your eyes, captured by a single frame or two
but all the more painful to watch now
for all your trying then, your impossibly red lips
and bleached-out hands blowing kisses
willy-nilly into the wind?

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