The old photo shows our sun-kissed faces. We are on a boat, looking quite pleased with ourselves. I am pulled to your smiling face; one I’ve not seen for so long.
Memories rise to the surface. Our first date. The slow dance around feelings. The excitement.
The photo moves with me around the house. For days. Kitchen counter, coffee table, couch. I keep looking at it. Pulled into the memories.
never the right time or place your ashes
It’s so dry that our legs are covered with a film of dust as we hike through the single track. We pass thickets of salal, struggling in the mid-day heat, ferns curled into themselves in a withering mess.
My house keys jangle from my backpack, distilling the quiet. My partner grumbles about the noise. I don’t tell her that I spotted a bear on the other side of the brush.
As we near the lake, the temperature shifts. The turquoise water, so pristine against the backdrop of trees. Excited, we push through the overgrown bush, not bothering to look around and find a spot to set our backpacks down. Someone has made a make-shift dock out of two downed trees which we carefully traverse and strip out of our clothes.
I’m the first in the water. It’s so cold that it catches my breath. I laugh with the thrill of it. My partner dives in beside me. We splash each other, then stretch out on our backs and float for a bit. I feel such a sense of peace in this tranquil space. I could stay here forever.
a trout struggles
against the line