How to Say I Love You by Rowena Taylor

I pace the aging dock, its wood
groaning in the shallow water. My summer-
browned legs quiver at the thought

of walking the plank. I cannot see
the joy in swimming in this,
where beneath the surface

dart tiny fish, slimy reeds
that will seize my ankles and toes.
I can see, though, how

her face has slendered.
I can see her hair, silver.
Arms losing muscle,

frailty creeping through
her limbs, body small
in her bathing suit.

I can see the way her mouth
defies the direction of her aging
each time I step forward.

I hear her laughter, a reflection of the sun,
as I inch towards the water’s edge,
a laughter that one day

I won’t be able
to recall the sound of.

I jump in.



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