Night 1 (The Wave)

Laurel Snyder

I was a refugee in a warehouse, tapping on shoulders, but I didn’t know why. Tapping on shoulders, circles of shoulders, I got tired. Nobody talked to me. There was a foot of water around my ankles and I pulled the ankles through the water, a cold wet answer. I found a window, trudged over to the window, low and long like the warehouse. I peered through the window and found an ocean, a friendly dog of an ocean.

Was I a little scared? Maybe, but then he came on all warm and disorganized, rushed to meet me in his sloppy way, nudged the wall below me and I trusted, leaned to touch him. I felt the ocean and he had not enough purpose to be cruel, not enough speed or method. He rushed against the wall happily and I climbed out into him, out into the dream.

The water was huge and purple, great and full, a warm soft landscape at my waist. I was in the landscape, a tree inside the landscape. Far off, the water was deeper, tall and above with waves. But the waves were old low mountains, curved and cleavaged and calm. They never crested or caught, and I couldn’t seem to sink, not even when the undertow wanted me. I wanted him too.

One wave—he came for me, pulled me warm to the top of himself, him tall self, I slid up his side and he was the highest mountain, full and round and smooth, a pillow of water, a drowsy current. My skin felt easy and outside me, nice against the warm of the wave.

My eyes were open but I wasn’t looking, didn’t need to. I was up to the summit. I was the summit and then slowly down myself I slipped, to become the girl sliding gracefully down. There were people below, elsewhere and safe, I knew, but not where or how closely.

The lovely wave carried me and the world grew wet with the trailing of our hemline as we swept softly at our constant speed. We showed the world our petticoat. The wave was my full skirt in the warm sun, in the wet world where everything moved but nothing was lost or gained. Just warm, just warm and full, we carried ourselves around.