My love and I met on a sequestered beach
Where no one cared to venture during an early
Morning mist. In lover’s silence, we strolled
Hand-in-hand, making the first of many couple’s
Footprints in the surf-wet sand.
When she unexpectedly began to cry and pulled
Her hand from mine, I feared the worst,
Another woman had trespassed in our life. When
Asked if that were true, she shook her head.
Dishonesty eclipsed her face.
What painful wedge separated us, two women
Who shared the secret intimacies of love? Her
Harrowing truth shattered our delicate crystal
World. While several days away, she met a friend
She once knew. Six weeks later, her misdeeds
Realized, she was pregnant with his child.
How does one respond when so licentiously
Betrayed? My brain paralyzed, I could not think
Or evoke a single tear. My heart, ocean, and the
Sky had turned gelid slate grey. I hoped what
She said was false, rather than live what lovers
Dread, the awakened nightmare of deceit.
“Do you still love me?” she asked, as if she were
A teenager caught necking at the prom. Every-
Thing had changed; we were not the same.
Our love had dissolved into the turbidity of the sea.
Deceptive and having been so easily led astray,
She was not the partner I thought I knew, the
Woman that I loved.
“Does he know?” I asked condemningly. She shook
Her head. “The answer is no,” she blurted before I
Could ask. She would not marry him, nor would I
Permit her to sleep with me again. For six weeks,
I had unknowingly caressed where he had spilled
His seed. “Can you help me end this and regain what
We once had?” she asked, her benighted words,
Naivete exacerbating injury and insult.
As I let my clothes fall onto the beach, I extended a
Lover’s forgiving hand. Trusting, she did the same.
“Let’s renew our love,” I offered, as we stepped
Into the sea. With salty waves splashing against
Our breasts, I brought my lips to hers, a gentle
Warm embrace and thrust her downward into the
Heaving waves. Both submerged, we struggled,
Life or death, as seaward currents pulled us from
The narrow shelf of sand. One or both of us would
Perish in the murky, swirling depths.
When I washed nude upon the beach, I knew she
Was no more. A failed relationship and morning
Swim resulted in tragic death. Her crimson hair
And burnished eyes would never grace this beach
Again – or a lover’s bed. After a feigned rescue and
Staged despair, my life would gradually resume again.
As successive waves of surf obliterated our footprints
And evidence of my crime, I realized the silly girl
Ignored signs hammered in the sand:
“Caution Swimmers, Dangerous Undertow.”