At 5:43pm I can still make out the mess of wires running between houses and utility poles. The clouds have sunset-tinted bellies. The neighbors’ upstairs light is on but I can hear their band starting up in the basement for a second practice this week. No sweet rhythms. Everything is fast and loud and unrelenting.
Spring is a an actual thing. Not here yet, but making plans for its arrival.
Find shelter. Find a groove to grow along. Find a familiar. A stranger. A friend.
Bring a new color to the neighborhood, a new shade, a new shape.
Get wet. Grow.
Here’s the thing: We’ve known each other longer than we haven’t known each other. My husband all those years before I had a husband. And still. We do what we do on his birthday. We walk on the beach (this year’s version: rain storming through all our weatherproof layers). I bring the wine and he cooks the dinner. We soak in water (this year’s version: a hot tub in between downpours). We keep going.
Yesterday’s gray stormy sky and gray water-logged sand and glossy beach grass. Today’s headache pinching off a handful of words before going back to moaning.
At the end of the beach is a village of salt-soaked and sand-smoothed and water-logged logs. And by “end of the beach” I mean as far as humans can walk without getting their feet wet. The beach keeps going for seagulls and seaweed and seashells and sea. But we stop at the log village and I run my fingers across the wet tree skin and the wet subdural layers, red and exposed in a landscape of gray.
Lying in the pre-dawn beside my love it is so quiet. Breath layered on water layered on darkness.
I’ve always done this-put a frame around the world so that just the beautiful thing remains. I used to do it as a kid, narrowing my focus down on a raindrop on the car window or a flower in a median strip. I often thought the triangle of green between highway and off ramp was the perfect wild if you cropped out the surrounding asphalt. So today, in the fifth hour of steady rain, I look past the rooftop of the giant, gentrifying house and find some worthy silhouettes waving in the stormy sky.