his name inked

To the cliff divers, scars on ankles and legs are badges of honour. The razor-sharp rocks take their toll, a thread of blood through clear water sniffed up by the eels and sea spirits.

Yesterday Marco wavered in his concentration. When he pulls himself back up to the ledge, a vein or a muscle in his neck twitches. Blood flows from his shoulder. Leon 2012. Only part of his oldest tattoo can be seen but his brother is never forgotten. His memory is in Marco’s hot, scarred heart, his name inked into his skin.

Swing

I push you gently

firmly

and you swing out from the edge.

You are floral against the blue beyond the cliff

and

after a moment

of suspension

of disbelief

swing back.

 

I catch you firmly

gently

and wrap my arms around your waist.

I kiss your neck and you half-twist.

Your dress is thin cotton in the temperate sun.

 

I push you again

and again

you swing out

toes pointed

legs straight out from the worn wooden seat.

The rope knots squeak

the tree imagined on the edge of the drop.

 

You swing out above the clouds

out

back

out

back

my hands on your shoulders

each time you return.

 

Again I hold on to your waist

and we swing out

above the emptiness

my feet hang down

cutting through clouded air.

Your back is warm through the cotton

my arms are tight.

We swing together

the sun to our side

soft clouds below.

 

And then we are back on the grass

and you turn

and look in my eyes

and I raise my eyebrows

and you nod

and I nod

and I walk backwards

holding you firm

until I am standing on tiptoes

and then I run forward

and as we swing out

out

up and out

and I am not sure how

but you let go of the swing and

we are

falling

falling

falling

through the soft warm air.

 

We fall

and we fall

and I do not know why

but I am not afraid of the height or the falling

and you are with me

and I am with you

and you smile and I smile.