BellaOnline Literary Review
Stairs by Albert Rollins



Danielle Wolffe

In those years they still allowed us to live by the ocean,
there were old words - Privacy, Home, Travel - that had substance.
Memory, exists, now,
though what remains,
just impressions,
like the pelicans made
when they fed in the waves.

You were with me back then, you bore it witness.
The way the greenhead stung the back of my hand,
and we knelt down to dunk it
seaweed collecting in warm tidal pools at our feet.

That night though, God, still, remained.
The scent of candles burning in the dingy old fort,
the tickle of native grass you brushed over my hip,
the sweet way our bodies swelled,
ripened like fruit in the heat.

Afterward, we walked along the shore,
our quiet feet pressed
into mud
the spray resounded
off tall, craggy rocks
a distant boatīs searchlights beaming through fog.

We swam alone then, and that was the last time I remember
feeling, my body,
so honest, so natural
sunken into that moist ancient world:
The heavy salt in the water embraced me,
the pounding of the surf constricted
in my eardrums
as I floated, and the clouds split,
moonlight spilling into my hair.

Even then there were traces of metal, of blood.

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Spring Equinox 2011 Table of Contents