in summer


in summer
Nokyoung Xayasane

In summer,
we go to the beaches:
Scarborough Bluffs,
Hanlan’s Point,
Toronto Island.

There is a child
building a sandcastle
by the water,
a flag flutters
in the wind.

We are lying
on towels
with trail mixes
and avocado and bacon
hidden pale ales
and ciders.

I remember
turning away
from the voices discussing
Romantic literature,
poetry and Hemingway,
big data and the evolution of music.

I remember getting up
and walking to the water’s edge.
The inlet of water surrounded
by rocks and seagulls,
the sky
stretching up
the light glaring off the water.

I walked into the water,
a slow march.
I took a breath
and I dove in.
The cold spread
throughout my body.
I floated on my back
with the sky above me
blue and endless and glaring.
Summer will go on forever.

I heard the sound of people
at the shore
and I knew I had to go back.
I left the water and I followed
their voices.
The coldness had slipped away,
the sun was warm
above me,
and for a brief moment
I forgot
that at one point
I had not wanted
to turn back.

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