Lavonne J. Adams

Mason’s Inlet, Late Afternoon

This is a place where cur­rents mesh,
here brack­ish meets brine—a chiaroscuro

of white­cap and wave. You tell me that
at low tide, you can walk across this channel.

On the far shore, a row of hous­es hov­er like scenery
on an emp­ty stage hours before actors recite

their pre-deter­mined lines. But today,
the tide is unnat­u­ral­ly high, a lens of water

stretched by an unseen moon. Our bodies
are also brine, pulled by currents

we can’t always name—nothing drastic,
just a slow unweav­ing. Have you noticed

how my fin­gers spread for your clasp less often,
that when you touch my knee, my leg shifts away?

We walk back to the park­ing lot where
water drips from a hose, wet sand spreading

across asphalt like a dio­ra­ma of a flood zone.
A pair of dis­card­ed flip-flops a few feet away

from an orphaned white sock, stained and sopping;
the tang of salt air sim­i­lar to the scent of sex’s aftermath.

Within min­utes, you nose the car toward the inscrutable
win­dows of home, each reflect­ing the evening’s last

soft light—petals of salmon and pink. Upstairs,
vents breathe their cooled air across the bed;

the ceil­ing fan stirs up the par­tic­u­lar nothingness
of an unin­hab­it­ed room. Can you sense the current

of the chim­ney swifts cir­cling over­head, returning
to their uncapped home—a dark vortex

of feath­ers, falling?

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