If we are separated I will
try to wait for you
on your side of things
your side of the wall and the water
and of the light moving at its own speed
even on leaves that we have seen
I will wait on one side
while a side is there
— W.S. Merwin (1988)
Hesitate to Call
Lived to see you throwing
Me aside. That fought
Like netted fish inside me. Saw you throbbing
In my syrups. Saw you sleep. And lived to see
That all. That all flushed down
The refuse. Done?
It lives in me.
You live in me. Malignant.
Love, you ever want me, don’t.
— Louise Glück (1968)
Ferns grow over the concrete blocks that are arranged to slow the erosion of the creek. Trees hang over the water. A fallen branch that almost stretches the width of the creek lies submerged but visible. Wilson watches me as I swim. Wary. Eyeing my movement with concern. I must appear like a zombie in a horror film, contorted and moving eerily unnatural and horizontal in the shallow water. Despite the hum of the irrigation pump and the faint smell of rotting leaves from the disturbed water, this is all pleasant. A reprieve from the house that still retains two days of heat.
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day… The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.”