The day we would have gone
to the shore, I woke up nauseous,
shivering in bed in summer, the thick
sap of sickness caught in my throat.
I knew what I would I miss--
you, in biting ocean beside me,
salt-water amnesia in our bones.
Holding breaths for more
than just the water.
Crinkled eyes, sand
trapped under fingernails.
The small things like
someone to share them with.
If only I could chase a fevered morning
like a little girl, and not be afraid;
wake up to the salt air and
know it well, each cell of my body
lit like a summer sunrise.
In my dreams the ocean still moves
with the ease that made me believe you
needed nothing as right as my life was right,
needed nothing as whole and honest
as the wood of the boardwalk
or your love for me.