Monday, June 25, 2012
Poised, Like Jellies
Poised, like Jellies
The aquarium was free on Friday afternoons and, seeing as they kept it warm, we'd go there after school; and we'd kiss the boys, hiding in the shadows, blotting out the whisperings of sin. You'd find us pressed against the tanks, melded into corners. Near the barracuda, the long, slow sharks, the shoaling fish, we'd open our mouths, and sink: wet, lazy as the eels, trying to make an ocean of ourselves.
But when Tom and I chose the bench by the jellies where the room was dim and the tanks were lit, and the creatures pulsed through creamy light, as boneless as the moon, I'd gently gnaw his neck, just so I could gaze, eyes half-open, at the shapes the jellies made. And I wished our kisses could learn from those rhythms, the motion of each pulse - but we were hot and clumsy: there was no perfection in us.
Later that spring, Tom got bored and kissed Leticia near the seals, and she allowed him, unlike me, to feel beneath her skirt; and I heard the news from Trish who'd seen them there together, and, glimpsing my pain, said, "Come on. You only kissed." But I returned to the jellies, put my fingers to the glass and craved their pure movement: each slow, drifting puff. If only, I told myself, I could be so simple - just poised in the moment; just wet, and never dry.
By Lana Fox