I lie on a sheet-covered table
with arms raised, shoulders pressed
on a cast of my upper body
like those hanging on dress racks
by the wall, a crisp spring line
in the latest shade of purple.

I stare at a giant steel replica
of the goose-necked lamp
on my childhood desk and think
nothing this heavy should loom
over a person. Then it rumbles,
inches toward skin plum-colored
and puckered.

I float on a distant memory.
Sand absorbs my shadow like oil
as I look for a spot to spread
a blanket, an armful of books
with titles I don’t remember,
an orange-trimmed tote
with possessions I can’t recall.
But in the hazy stillness
the sea shimmers, a lacy white,
dappled lavender.
Sunlight bathes my bare calves,
glistening like tender buds
of willow. I stop and breathe
the perfume of this place.

I pray this is how it will be.
The vast room fades while
beauty gleams: his gentle touch,
her compassionate voice,
the generous red beam of life.


Barefoot Review, 2012