Course

She points to a small island on a map
her fingernails as red as perfect apples.
My task is just to row her out there
because the beach there is secluded
and she wants the sun to coat her
every square.

I stare at all the rolling waves
and try to keep us moving fast.
Her hair is like thin golden chains
that reach for me as the wind
makes it fall in my direction.

She looks back at me through
her sunglasses and I can’t tell
what she’s thinking, maybe
she’s worried about sinking,
or that I don’t know where
I’m going to begin with.

She turns around and faces me
and leans back against the bow,
and starts humming some old
song she knows that is familiar,
but I cannot place the sound.

When we land she thinks we’ve
run aground having dozed off
on the ride. “We have arrived,”
I say sarcastically while she
yawns and carries her bag
to a spot on the beach.

I walk up to my ankles
in the shallows with the midday
burning sun and can’t believe
that I’m the one she chose to take
her out here while there is nothing
in between her and the sky.

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