When I was a child.
In the pool I thought of a story I heard about babies born in water, about babies swimming right after birth, about mothers with inflatable pools in their living rooms pushing and heaving and out comes a child. And that’s how life happened.
In the pool I slithered and slimed and kissed and felt all the verbs that are wet.
In the pool I thought of what old people looked like when they were young, when there weren’t veins protruding on legs and arms and tummies and feet.
In the sea I saw testicles for the first time. An old man’s: like plums wrapped in old ham. A young boy’s: puckered plums.
In the sea I made meatballs out of mud, I made chicken cutlets and breaded them with sand.
In the sea I stuffed my fingers in anemones.
In the sea I thought I could talk to dolphins and when I’d spot one in the distance I knew she was coming for me. I could never swim that far out.
In the sea I sang to myself. I never scraped my palms on rocks.
In the river, ankle deep, I thought I saw ice-cubes floating.
In the river I’d try to catch fish, and talk to them, too. Come, salmon, salmon, come, salmon, salmon. Why, salmon salmon, would you want me to catch you only to then salmon salmon you up in the air, wave you around in the oxygen, toss you up as high as I could only to watch you fall smack down, belly flop, back into your river home? So that you could see the trees and hear the woodpecker and see what a human’s brown eyes look like.
In the river I peed behind a big smooth rock.
In the lake I knew there were sea monsters.
In the lake my foot tangled with seaweed and I yelped for help, for mercy, for angels.
In the lake I realized there were a few things I was wrong about, but there were a couple things I knew that made me wise.
That’s when the rain came.