It was stringing tiny glass beads on twine and knocking over a bottle of seed beads that did it.
Usually I string along, one bead at a time.
This time I made the string too long and the beads had to travel too far to connect.
I chose the tiniest shards of glass and the lightest twine imaginable.
It is like the frustration of a long distance relationship, when there are neighbors to date.
It is like twenty shots on goal and not one making its way in the net.
It is ordering food off the menu.
It is asking the time and learning how a clock is made.
It makes calm people into raging rivers and raging rivers into tsunamis.
I don’t complicate my life.
I am putting the beads down and having a cup of coffee.
Little did I know,
the teacher had plans for me
To eat words and jam.
I yearn for conversation
with my one teacher.
It takes years to perfect a swan dive like Solomon.
First, you work on your own dive.
You dive in and plug your nose and get wet.
Then, you towel off and then months later you try diving in head first.
Next, you try it again and again without making a splash.
After that you practice your somersaults and flips and swan dives.
Then, you fine tune it and keep your legs together and toes pointed.
And then finally when you have mastered diving head first off rocky cliffs in Belize, Havana, Okinawa and all the cliffs in the world, you meet another diver.
You decide to dive in sync together.
You count down together, you bounce off the board together, and you two fly like no one is watching. And you don’t even make a splash.
While the sun was setting behind me
I watched my mom and my aunt.
They dressed in their matching turquoise and purple muu muus
and ate shrimp tacos on the back porch as they shimmied with each bite.
We laughed about my cousin’s whale spout in her hair when she was younger.
We reminisced about grown adults sitting on their mom’s lap and bare-breasted hugs at family reunions.
We laughed about boogers and boobs and pubes and wingspans of swimmers.
They flicked water on each other and my two favorite people in the world tried to gross each other out.
I ate the family magic mushroom and I loved it.
Maybe it was an unlucky lighter that kept us apart.
The white one where the flame would go out in a slight breeze.
His light died with a boo and a hiss and I was just starting to bloom.
Just my luck.
Oh, listen, listen
to the smooth bosa nova
of our hearty hearts.
When a harmonica
can whistle delicately
and guitarists strum
besos and kisses
to the lovers of the world
and we breathe, breathe love.
A day to listen
and rejoice in providence
as the earth revolves.
along the shores of magic
keep skipping a beat.
A long time ago, I tried to join an elite squad.
I dipped my oars in the salty lagoon and rowed.
We saw sunrises and water reflected on bare shoulders.
I didn’t make the team.
They did not need appreciators of beauty. They needed muscles.
Yet these many years later, I am part of an invisible squad.
We are in the same boat taking turns steering. Some days all we see is white fog on all sides of the boat and other days when it is clear we see a lighthouse beckoning us back home.
All I feel is that we are the threads of civilization that keeps the blanket of hope from fraying.
The nice thing about this squad is you don’t have to have upper body strength to join.
Anyone can join.