It is the middle of winter and I am back east at my cottage on a northern most cove of the Chesapeake Bay on the eastern shore of Maryland. I would love to diagram that sentence. It is snowing and the stillness is tangible for the geese have gone quiet. This home is under the migratory pattern of so many birds—but the Snow Geese, the Canada Geese, and the Starlings are my favorite. It’s best to put seed out just before dawn and just at dusk to draw the most curious creatures. There is a squirrel I adore—he’s a wee thing I call Reepicheep as he is spry and has no tail. He’s been here the whole year and hasn’t grown much bigger…but he certainly is quick. It’s a different world at sea level. It’s been sunless and dreary and cold—but there is peace. There is quiet. There is the constant variation of tides swelling in and out. There are journals and there are pens and there is curriculum to be written. There is a fire, red wine, and my dog. Winter is a time of underground and rejuvenation and rest—and I wish you all the best hibernation.

Dreaming Delaware

I went to the top of a mountain—
collected shooting stars in an old cigar box— laid them at the foot of your bed last night fireflies at midnight a night light to keep you company—

I quiet wondered if silence
tells stories of questions
& kisses

I swung pendulum triplet counts
from tree-swing orchestrations—
skinny-dipped
swam striations
—a soul filled with sentiments—
sediment on insomnia’s spiral pathways
to the shores of Delaware
where ocean sneezes tickled
the bottoms of our pants
& sleep was something
adding brushstrokes
to our kisses—

You looked up at
a polka-dot explosion of sky—
saw a star with a slight shade of blue
& named it after my skin—
I wore short curly hair
& you held a holster for my lips on your jaw—

I picked up a seashell
the color of coming dawn
& held it at my ear
as silver dolphins poked heads up from waves & carried the wish I made to deeper waters—

Keep me.

We dove into the ocean
where freedom beat so strongly
baptizing us in salt water
and fishes clapping—

We tried to keep waking at bay
as long as we could
while the pesky neighbor of morning
crashed the party
& heaven played an encore
with the moon—

The sunlight wrapped around your smile
& I haven’t kissed anything as holy since— my lips still taste of salt & wonder & I will never let you go…

I woke
& saw us the next day
& the day after that
& thirty years from now
finishing each others’ sentences
in the middle of silence,
questions,
& kisses.

Believe me when I tell you—
you are here
when I am washing my hands
in the porcelain sink—
silver dolphins spilling from the faucet— back in Delaware for a brilliant fleeting moment—

Your name is just underneath my tongue
& with every line I can taste you.

You left a love letter on my body—
the note I’d withheld from myself—
the one you took
for safe keeping—

& if you’re ever dreaming—
walking that sacred place again
where seagulls become protectors
& sand a layer of skin—
if through your closed eyes
you think of my palm in your hand—
you will hear my wishing voice
in the last waves—
in the last seashells buried on the beach— whispering a promise—

Forever.

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