I find you face down,
nestled somewhere between dream and sleep,
as if one could exist without the other,
as if a petty argument the night before
had never happened.

The silence of your back and shoulders
invites me back to bed,
where I anchor myself,
where my mind skips rocks as my father fishes.

The tension is as subtle as the water’s surface,
capable of holding up boats and a chubby boy
escaping the heat of summer.
Do you dream of such things, I wonder
as I approach my second wake?

Had we been childhood friends, I could imagine
you a spot on the water’s edge,
alongside my father.
Your arms stretched out,
the visible part of your skin warms
from midday sun as your body
slowly takes on water.

This poem appeared in New Plains Review, Spring 2020.

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