She, holding her arms aloft like a child for me to raise up over them the nightgown that she wears to lie cool and naked against my side. I hear the river running on in the dark. Her breathing beside me. Her thighs shine in the firelight, little wedge of pink rayon that purses her cleft. I take her face in my hands and kiss her. Lust and obscene delight not untouched by sorrow and as she mounts me the world is transformed.
We lie pale and naked in the lovely twilight on a blanket, the river chattering and bats wheeling overhead. Hot night becrazed by heat lightning far and thin and the gunmetal sky torn and mended back. Under the gauzy starwash, pressed against the wheeling earth. The willows from the far shore cut from the night a prospect of distant mountains dark against the pale sky.
I go in the cool and velvet waters and submerge like an otter and surface again. On my back in the shallows I see stars come adrift and rifle hot and dying across the firmament. The vastness fills me with a strange, sweet woe. Back to the blanket. She comes pale and naked from the trees like some dream harbored by old prisoners or sailors at sea. She touching my face when I am on the threshold of sleep and calling my name.
Across the fire her hot eyes watch me as I walk back down to the river along the path flicking flashlight into the dead water by the shore where suckers lurk on the bottom, old bottles furred with silt. I turn off the light and listen to a rip in the rocky shoal, a gentle whisper in the reeds. Half moon, heavens locked and wheeling incandescent. A sole star to the north pale and constant, old wanderer’s beacon burning like a molten spike that tethers the little bear to the turning firmament. I am struck by the fidelity of this old earth I inhabit and bear it a sudden love. I stand and hold my arms aloft, open to the chalice of God’s bright mercies.
I catch up with her at the edge of the trees. It’s raining lightly and we are wet. She is naked under the blanket; it falls in a dark pool at her feet. I kneel there as rain drains from her nipples, runneling thinly on her pale belly. With my ear to the womb of this girl I can hear the hiss of meteorites in the blind stellar depths. She moans and stands on tiptoes, toes curling and holding my face firmly to her groin.
This could be real trouble, I say.
I don’t care, she says.