The South in Summer

The south in summer—
feet bare trail hopping
in a cotton-candy-colored skirt, flowing neatly below the knees.
The sun is his periphery and it dips into the water,
shine stretching the length, dyeing the top of his nose:
the kind of scene that makes you regret Godlessness.

I touch it for a moment—
touch the faith, feeling it—
and step onto the tracks.
He’d save you. He’ll save you.
How fast does it go?
About 75 miles per hour, a good clip.
It’s a lovely lemon sunset.
Yes, I’ve been watching from the window.

In the night, the pond water
mixes with his salt-sticky sweat, and never seems to dry—
the humid air lingers, making batter of our limbs.

The bulb light shines down, his face and torso mine,
but his arms are only smoke stacks in the dark.
What I can see, I claim; what I claim, I love—
I try to take everything back.
I climb a ladder in the dark
and cover the buzzing fixture with my fingers,
leaving stripes of black on his body.
Later: the sheets are wrinkled and I fall into the creases.