by Stephen Jarrell Williams
After a party, drunk more in mind than body,
walking down cement stairs to the beach,
already a leech, sneak, consumer of innocence,
he didn't like what he had become...
The darkness a calling he wanted
as much as the black wrap of the vast ocean...
He removed his shoes and socks,
dug his bare feet into cool sand,
breath of breaking waves
invigorating, salty mist upon his upper lip,
and something else...
He closed his eyes, still seeing
dreamlike, lifting his arms, fingers outstretched
for a touch of meaning...
She startled him with her words.
"Are you praying?" she asked.
Opening his eyes, taking a step back,
recoiling all of his digits,
a sudden forever
picture of her stamped into his being:
dark hair, dark eyes, skin as white as the moon,
lips perfect, naturally puckered, a questioning stare,
standing before him in a slick swimsuit of iridescent blue.
"What?" he asked.
"Are you praying?" she asked again.
"Not exactly. I'm a little drunk."
She frowned, made an "O" with her lips, blew air
into his face, a succulent swish
fluttering his eyelids, sweep of waves singing
in his ears, her voice as if inside a seashell,
all the world in the space between her lips.
"Only love drowns
the evil in your heart,"
she spoke from depths he would never attain.
Swaying, he craved her
against him hard, her body, her lips.
She hugged him, pressed into him.
He said, "My apartment is not far from here."
"No," she whispered.
She pointed to the waves. "Out there."
He blinked, thinking of what it would be like,
to have her in the water...
He stripped to his boxers.
They swam out into the tide.
Pull of dark distance
in the glide of the sea,
the two of them, side to side,
swimming into euphoria.
Soon, floating over her,
her face underwater smiling,
drifting down into shadows blurry,
Fading light into pings of glitter,
calm within the current's rhythm,
her touch everywhere and within.
He awoke walking the edge of waves,
bewildered days had passed
before he remembered her.
He panicked for a time.
Settled into her memory,
sharing her words with others.
sitting on the beach,
facing the great waters,
rocking in the sand,
he thinks of her
with what he has become.
Stephen Jarrell Williams has done everything from mowing lawns to being an executive at a software company. His poetry and short stories have appeared in over a hundred publications. He loves to write, listen to his music, and dance late into the night.
Where do you get the ideas for your poems?
I get my ideas from observing the world around me, reading as much as possible, and especially remembering my dreams.