wretched wave

It’s been coming, for three days now. I was sure it’d be last night. He writhed and pitched and screamed on its horizon. Outside in the still, the grass grew greener, the crows tossed tufts of it, stabbed mealy grubs and swallowed them whole.

And so, it came, like a gigantic rolling wave. I held his clammy hands as he knelt staring at a row of books, and I knew the wave was cresting. I looked into his face, frozen and pale as a winter sky, not like a child at all.

He turned blue as the wretched sea in which his brain was drowning. I called to him from afar though my lips brushed his cheek. I shouted, “come back to me, Calvin, come back,” but my boy was already under. I kissed the warm soft of his belly, told him I’d take good care of him, told him I was right there.

Salty tears rivered into my mouth when my boy finally took a single breath, and though the coral blushed back into his lips, his eyes remained mere glass pools. From the abyss he startled like a baby, hit me in the face with the back of his hand, looked as if he’d seen a demon and wanted me to save him, but I could not.

Slowly, the torrent calmed and he came to, rubbing sandy eyes. I carried him upstairs in my arms, my little merman with skin soft as an oyster and eyes as blue as sky and sea.

photo by Michael Kolster

No comments:

Post a Comment