(I wrote this for an english project in the 8th grade)
As I sit here,the sticks and moist ground lapping my palms with their annual spring taste. The cold water wrapping around my calves in a dark green rush. Every pore being pricked with the iciness of the river. I look down at my sulking reflection as it flits in sound waves provoked by birdsongs and mumbled prayers that are breathed like records, words said so many times that have now lost all meaning. Made only to be sounds. I watch the clouds tumble across the robins egg ocean above my head and I remember her.
Gloria, how her red hair fell in cascading henna locks down her ivory back. Looking like some untouchable goddess, every square inch of skin glowing with beautiful youth. Eyes like diamonds that carved out each feeling that built up inside of her. What I would do to take back April second. Tumble back through every curtain, sheet, and tangle that time does bring between then and now. O how the memory of that warm damp Tuesday still lingers in my mind, the warm breeze that waltzed along every street corner, giving turns and doing summersaults as the wind changed direction in a beautiful calligraphy of care free spring bliss. How we ran. The soft cushion of sand whispering in gentle monotone to the souls of our feet as they hit the blessed Earth. The taste of the trees that towered over us in magnificent green sheets blended and twisted with the flavor of each others lips in our laughing mouths. How hers would show a storybook smile glazed in cherry chapstick that always made my heart stop and shoot into my throat, but in moments would be washed away by the rivers green glare.
Gloria, like candy in the crying eyes of a toddler’s tantrum as it slips from small fingers onto cold kitchen tiles, every sugary piece of that prized morsel shattering now into something ones mother will scold to get over.
How I remember the cold that matches the one I sense now as we wadded through the water in each other’s arms. Lyrics of some ironic ballad slip between our kisses. The water reaching past our pant legs that were folded up in pinwheel fashion. The spelunking resonance of the water is still completely audible, loud as mounds of silver wear hitting the memory of long lost Gloria, how it synchronized with laughs and tripping.
Tripping, tripping, tripping.
One slip of the foot that was once displayed so nicely in the three dollar sneakers made of red cloth and she was sent plummeting into rapids with watery hands and arms tearing and clawing at her screaming body.
Blood curdling, muted and distorted into ugly gurgling calls as water poured down into her lungs, once made for singing now forced to scavenge for some source of oxygen, and I stand helpless as the water crow bars my fingers from her slippery wrist, taking only the bracelet made from vibrant yarns that danced in pink and blue spirals, a wish still intwined in the fibers of the gifted jewelry that now wraps itself around my own guilty wrist. Water droplets from her attempt at wrestling with the river to get to the shore ran races down my face against the tears that slipped out of frightened eyes.
As if calling this name now with no owner would bring back her body, warm and dry and wrapped in my shaking arms that still long for that beautiful circumference. Thinking that calling her name would force back the hands of times in bone cracking beauty to have her next to me again.
In vain I try. Straining my voice to the full extent, yelling after her. My body folding over with sobs that strangle each vowel in her name.
Now in my own regret I come to my place of dread, the scenery wreathed in grief and morose echos that shout across my third-eye like macabre banshees, screeching in their oil-thirsty hinge voices. What great God that priests so certain in their sermons preach about would bring such an unholy occurrence? Bring a famine of blood, sweat, and tears as days go by with threads of mourning bodies lining the river in search for the porcelain skin now bruised and blue in a lifeless drift.
O why did I not play the fool? The one “Who would do anything for love.” that families would note, around steamy plates of ready-to-eat-whatever. The one who’s face would be broadcasted alongside the school picture of perfection, people commenting on the stupidity of our decisions, and now I send myself after her, to follow the breathless body down the flooding New Mexican water ways. Setting to sleep in my slimy coffin. Its dihydrogen monoxide walls lined with plants and the rotting glassy carcasses of fish.
Now I will swim forever more, beside the memory of scarlet lips, long legs and hips. Swim in her name…