I laid down on the bed and could hear the ocean through the slatted windows and feel my heart beating strongly beneath my right hand on my chest.
I started a few times when sleep came in brief gasps. Then I got up and poured the last of the morning coffee over some ice and walked down to the shell beach.
More kinds of blue than there are names for here–azure, cerulean, turquoise, robin’s egg, stormy blue, placid blue, deep-ocean blue punctuated by long, white breaking waves, uninterrupted.
Palm fronds clicking in the constant breeze. A bright red dragonfly too fast to catch. A black dog trotting down the middle of the street with a huge old iguana dangling from its mouth. A little mohawked boy with tide-pool eyes riding a rusty lawnmower down the hill behind his house.
A baby crying just over a star-studded fence. A man with skin the color of the inside of a coconut lying in a second-story striped hammock. A horse roped to the rebar of a half-built house, his owner covering the concrete with a tall roller of yellow paint. The island hides stories I’ll never hear.
Back at the house, two children are resting and there is a woman on the bed, my woman, the one whose eyes look just like the sea.
I stretch my leg out sideways, my ankle on her hipbone, heel resting on her inner thigh. Her hand instinctively finds my skin, presses on the balls of my foot, strokes my calf as she reads.
We are here, together, on the other side of a real cliff-hanger. There will be others, we know. And days that seem unchanging but are change themselves, and work and plans and more cold as we halt towards spring.
For now, I’ll take this, this ceiling fan spinning, crowing roosters and barking dogs and quiet house and simple side-by-side moment. I’ll take it and keep it with the shells we’ve collected.
And I know she’ll come find me, rising or falling, because I belong to her just as the sun belongs to the horizon. Morning and evening no matter what, I’ll meet her where my own body stretches out that way, in waiting.