A Wet Digression

The water holds many knives…and many digressions.

Water

The water burns me like Prometheus, beneath the ire of the gods. It flows like time down my body, like unshed tears down my face.

I stand, shivering, white scars traced like dead vines down my leg, pulsing in extremis. Other wounds, old and new, throb as I look up into the spray, my flesh on fire.

I am diminished in the half light, surrounded by slick black stone and silence, standing ankle deep in something that could be regret.

I feel every year, every scar. I feel every lesson unlearned, every moment unconsidered, every word unweighed, every consequence unknown.

I feel every saint, every whore, every fighter, every fool.

I feel all my yesterdays as I scream in the billowing steam.

The water, the water burns.

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1 Comment

  1. It doesn’t have to. Or perhaps, doesn’t always.

    I still remember the night the wind and rain called me outside, and I stood moongazing, water plastering my nightgown against my skin, knowing only I had to stand there, feel the water pour over me, washing away all worry, all care, all thought.

    I came home one summer afternoon when a downpour started, and by the time I neared the apartment, I’d started madly giggling and running through puddles.

    Once, my lady and I got caught out in an extreme drenching rain. We ducked into a bookstore for it to let up; it didn’t. The owner finally dug us up cardboard boxes. “It’s not much, but it might help.” We thanked him and ran out the door.

    Fifteen blocks later, the boxes had dissolved under the drumming wet. Flash flood conditions had begun. We stopped at a traffic light, the water nearly up to our knees, and a fellow stopped, rolling down his window. Small wavelets splashed against our legs.

    “Need a lift?” he asked.

    We grinned and shook our heads. “No, thanks, we really can’t get more wet at this point.”

    Water can heal as well as harm. So can many things, but water, especially. Water is inexorable. It will give, it will shift, it will change its course…but it will never, never, give up.


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