In the bottom of a boat
By Parson Thru
I pushed off from the bank and came to lie with you in the bottom of the boat.
The current caught us and pulled us to mid-stream. Sunlight dazzled and speckled through the leafy canopy. We kept our eyes closed and thought of innocent things.
It wasn’t long before I raised myself on my elbows and looked over the gunwales, concerned there might be other boats, the pier of a bridge, or submerged rocks.
You asked what I was doing. Why couldn’t I just lie with you in the bottom of the boat and relax?
I was perplexed. I didn’t know the answer.
The question set up a frontier.
You asked the time. I wasn’t sure. We hadn’t brought our phones on purpose, but from the height of the sun, it had to be around mid-day.
You were picking chipped varnish from your nails.
“Come here.” you said. “Lie down and forget about the world. What happens, happens. We’ll know soon enough. Lay with me.”
I had a last look for bridges and shallow water boiling over rocks, then lay back down in the boat, but from one squinted eye you saw my brow was furrowed.
“What is it? Why can’t you relax? Is it us?”
“No.” I answered. “It’s never us.” and I squeezed your hand.
You squeezed back and rearranged your fingers, interweaving them with mine. We lay like that for a while, the sun etching dappled patterns in my closed eyes.
The slap of water on the hull lulled me into sleep. We dozed together on the timbers, fingers loosely intertwined.
I dreamt we were on a boat. Lying together, holding hands. Sun sparkling through the cover of great trees. The river rippling underneath us, carrying us downstream, innocent to everything outside the boat.
It was a beautiful dream.