body surfing

Design by Kris Qiu

In general, soft-shell clams can live for around a decade—

a small but necessary fact I learned this summer,

meaning I could thread each year of knowing her

up and around the ridges of a clam shell and fasten it

around her neck, where it would hang

a small and matte moon between her collarbones— 

the handles of the first bike

I ever crashed into a street lamp, the grass streaking my knees my hands 

green with envy and other clichés at her effortless glide,

still cutting wide loops across the asphalt while, for an instant,

I flew. Later I remember the weightlessness,

the roll of a wave beneath my back when

I float belly-up in the ocean, eyes closed to the water

and somewhere off to the side her warning

—here comes a big one!—

I like to wait until the last second to flip over

and meet the water head-first, limbs collapsing into

the wave’s unsteady breast to watch her dive under,

all splash and toothy grin.

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