Atop that gentle hill, we sat
stoned and dreaming.
Like a coroner, sharp boats on the lake below us cut
across the water,
opening the surface,
looking for root causes.
I recall inhaling and I recall exhalations
coinciding with whisper winds winding through the dying leaves.
I recall you wore your circle-frame glasses.
I recall you took them off your face and
gently placed them on the bench between us.
I don’t recall any words,
but I recall turning from the lake
to see if you were all right –
And there you sit, buttcrack-smile smile on your face.
You look down the hill
and then back at me.
I look down the hill,
back at you,
down the hill.
I shake my head.
You put your hands over your face and proceed to roll
hill – right to the water’s edge.
You hit every bump in the ground, pop into the air just high enough to crash down hard on your shoulder or back – rolling all the way.
Your hands never leave your face and you never try to slow yourself down, determined to ride this thing out to its painful ending.
I can’t tell if you’re still breathing so throw a hand up in the air.
You laugh, then curse.
You rise to your knees, pause, then try to steady yourself atop thick, shaky legs.
You sprint up the hill and plop yourself back down on the bench with a final laugh and labored breath.
That sound was quite satisfying, I recall.