I am sitting on the rocks at low tide, watching the sea breathe in and out, over and away from the stones and snails and algae. Tiny fish and driftwood pulse and glow in the sun, the wind, the afternoon. The divers go in after paua, my toenail polish glints under the hole in the ozone, and there is a trace of ice cream in the corner of my mouth, on the underside of my tongue.
You could be anywhere, you could be anyone, you could be throwing away the stick from your very own ice cream right now. It’s raining or snowing or softly blowing where you are, wherever you are, and you don’t know that I’m writing this to you. Sometime I’ll tell you about today, maybe in a wide messy bed with a space in the middle hollowed out from our weight. Maybe it will be after a fight. Maybe it will be after a kiss. Maybe I’ll be wearing your shirt, maybe you will run your hands through your hair, maybe we will drink hot chocolate, maybe we will shiver and scuff our feet through the fallen broken leaves, maybe we will wipe the sweat from the backs of our necks. Maybe there will be a spot on my hip that just fits your hand.
My second summer there, I will tell you, shifting your hand to my hip, I couldn’t stay away from the beach. Every good day of every weekend, the same walk every time. I bruised my shins and got sand in between my toes, and I looked out at the hills and up at the clouds and across past the ferry. I had to put on extra sunscreen and the wind uncurled my hair and the kelp inhaled and exhaled under the surface and my heart burst and shimmered and flew. I couldn’t stop going. I couldn’t stop staying.
I remember perfectly, you will say.
You do? How could you? I didn’t even know you then. I hadn’t met you yet. You weren’t there.
Yes I was.
In my heart?
That was me.
Oh, that was you, I will say. I thought you seemed familiar.
We’ll order another hot chocolate, or we’ll involve our knees in one anothers’ knees, or we’ll keep walking down the street, your hand on my hip, while the sea slips smooth and quiet over the rocks in the Southern Hemisphere, while the island opens its arms to the bay, while the sun shines down and down and down.
Written this afternoon in my paper journal, around 4:30, at the beach in Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand. He nui toku aroha mau Aotearoa.