I always wrote the story beginning to ending, like those poems about men
swimming long laps across lakes with the sky and pines and change of
seasons, the certainty of resolution as the arm raises to a vee in the curve of
a migrating bird before striking into the water. Often I began “we were by
the river”. You were not holding me but there was pressure in the salt air,
like a bandage or embrace. The swans were standing in pairs, sun absorbed
into their black bodies, heads under wings like a beheading or a magic
trick where he halves his beloved only to put her together again. I can’t
remember exactly what was said. I don’t write dialogue. Only the action,
the morning, how we stood not touching and you turned, departed. In the
poems, the men swim from one shore, turn at the other and come back.
They are not lonely, the parts of their body coming together like birds. I
raised my hand and held it to the base of my neck, where the pulse is, and
traced in time the beginning and ending of this.
Follow us for more: