Smith Mountain Lake Wedding Getaway Vacation Poem.

Bravanza

I can’t stop thinking about those farms and silos buried
beneath the lake. Rooms full of water, doors swinging
on their hinges with each passing boat above. Never in my life
had I boated to lunch, never floated on a neon noodle
in the summer darklit water watching fireworks break apart
above my head. First I was living inside my life, chucking stems
to the chickens, fetching flowers at dusk, and then I was there:
the lake, a single bed, rooms full of brothers and wives,
a couple to marry, my hand held and adorned with henna,
the screams of cicadas, unceasing. Artists draped in metals
they’d bent into form, hats and towels strewn on the deck
like clothing stripped by lovers. A husband kissed his wife
in water, the raft between them bobbing gently. A woman
with a mohawk danced beside her lady’s braids. A toast was made,
a dream was told, a glass refilled. I was but a single set of legs,
unbuoyed and unburdened, free to roam at will, gently moving
through the spider threads that draped between each couple
in attendance, dewdrops of their pairings landing on my arms,
my ankles. I watched a belly held to feel the kicking; I handed
cups of bubbly to each person in the room, I picked a chigger
off the inside of my toe. I ate the food they fed me, I lingered
on an edge of dock to marvel at the sunlight floating in the water,
I swimmed some laps, I swished the ice cubes in my cocktails,
I wore a skirt and spoke the wedding words in front of everyone,
boats tearing through the water just behind. I watched
the married ones exclaim in summer heat as the shining faces
of their familes encircled them in hugs. In the company
of teachers I talked of names and ways of being; I laughed
with jewelers, I spoke of herbs, I threw away the memory of never
having known these people and gave them all I’d brought.

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