Tuesday, January 10, 2006

There is something about this time of year that makes me think of summer nights in Crystal River, floating in Aunt Susan's pool, peeling the sunburn off my shoulders in strips. My cousins tried nightly to fool the bats that swung over us into thinking that quickly flung drops of water were insects, and I cupped captured lightning bugs in one fist, watching for their flash between the gaps of my fingers.

Likely this comes to mind because these two points are so different, and because the path from there to here is overgrown and hard to see down. Because these shoulders are the same, thin and freckled, but the hands that fold over them have changed. (Because it has rained for 22 days but this rain feels clean, not the sort of rain that keeps a girl stuck to plastic beach chairs each afternoon.)

This morning, under the unforgiving lights of my bathroom, I noticed that my jaw was shaded--bruises on my face, where no bruises have been for years. The week cruelly brings over flowers laced with memory, and I retreat to the daylight and the ice cream. I'm still swollen and sore, recovering slowly, not easily fixed. I've never been a quick healer.

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