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Winter Break Girl


You confuse me,

like the girls I met on adolescent winter-break trips,

to the North Carolina outer banks.


I want to take you there on a cold clear late afternoon,

make barefootprints across deserted dunes,

then track sand up the spiraling staircase,

to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.


I would stand behind you against the railing,

watching the sun set over the Pamlico Sound

and the Piedmont Plateau on which I was raised.


I would bury my face in your shining strands of hair,

like a summer child entering a meadow of too tall grass,

nose first, guided down to the roots by the fragrance of flowers,

till the tip, Eskimo kisses your scalp,

and the lashes of my eyes, butterflies,

blink the moment in memorized Morse code.


I would wrap my arms around your shoulders,

like a scarf your grandmother made,

hands under your sweater,

skating playfully around your navel,

your skin a freshly frozen forest lake,

my fingernails glide lightly,

like the blades of size five ice skates,

timid to scratch or crack.


I would hold my sternum against your spine,

so you could feel my heartbeat like coastal rain on a nylon tent,

to the campers huddled inside.

Sternum to spine,

so you could feel my heat through our jackets,

like morning sun pressing nylon,

awakening sandy lovers.


I would have the heat of our embrace,

warp the air around us,

like a summer day rising from a sidewalk.


I would have our elbows slow-dance,

our knees spoon,

ridges and crevices come together,

like fish and birds in an Escher painting;

like a porcelain figurine,

reunited with the mold that formed it.


And when the last rays finally disappear,

We would circle to the ocean side,

where we'd stay as the night passes;

taste salty wind, stare down seagulls,

and whisper secrets to passing clouds.


And we would be surprised when the sun burst into the sky,

like a lighthouse beacon to desperate sailors.


and surprised again when our lips touch,

for the first time,


like young toes dipped in a hotel Jacuzzi,

bubbling goosebumps tremble across the surface,

of water,

and skin.


  (c) Copyright 2004, Daniel Strack

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