Turning

— Diane Moomey

Water is warm, warm.
Belly down in the shallows,
nose pointed downstream,
minnows nibbling arm skin,
I finger smooth pebbles, each

pebble a world, whole.
This red one carried by birds
from New Mexico —
canyons still intact, sagebrush
wedged deep into crevices.

That one, green and gray,
mosses of old Ireland
from the tombs of queens.
A black one from the asteroid belt,
flecked with dust from the hearts of stars.

I turn to face upstream —
water fills my bathing suit,
tickles me down there.
Holding fingers together,
my ship’s prow splits the current.

Brother, sisters splash
downstream beyond the next curve.
Cicada shrills, long —
Frost in forty days, it cries.

Yellow leaf twirls past,
light haze covers sun,
hairs prickle along my back,
my nipples stand up.
On the bank, our grownups laugh
loud at jokes I cannot hear.

I look down again,
pick up a yellow pebble.

Just a rock, only a rock.

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