In Water My Dreams

We float and swim, we boat and punt on the storm waters aglow in the weak sunlight. In a freak occurrence, an accident of the El Niño year, warm and cold currents met and mingled, a dance of opposites that birthed the rains in gleaming rivers. If there is a line that separates land from warm turquoise, it blurs, and we fall into our shadows or perhaps our shadows swallow us, the outlines of boat and people, wavy lines of form. We are liquid, one with the water, in the water and on the water, and I believe I only know that it is winter because my sister was born in early January and with the year coming to an end, it will soon be her first birthday.


My mother used to say that my sister had not yet decided if she belonged here in this place, or if she wanted to be once more within my mother, safe in her water sac. She said that’s why my sister resembled a wide-eyed baby fish, with small nostrils and small ears and a soft head that had so little hair. At first I thought she was very ugly – her squashed face with its gummy mouth and the starfish fingers that couldn’t hold anything – but then within her eyes lay a spell that called me with the soundless voices of the water people who live below us, in grottos of coral, hiding behind curtains of iridescent shell and seaweed.


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