Hawaii, 2014

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My daughter is passed out in her grandmother’s bed – the steady rise and fall of her ribs in her tiny Ariel swimsuit. She sleeps through the sound wafting in through the screen door to the balcony. Rasp of a breeze through the palm fronds, children screaming, waves, the slap-slap of wet flip flops on asphalt. A cacophony of voices butting up against the dwindling sounds of nature.

The tearing scream of fighter jets a repetitive spasm of sound overhead. Construction vehicles strip a section of the hill above us down to stone.

I smell of Icy Hot and fish; age and the sea.

I am a few weeks dry. I catch myself staring at the advertisements in the in-flight magazine, the sweat sliding down the side of the glass of bourbon.

Last night, the Hui. Poetry in a language so beautiful that it made us ashamed of our own. My daughter dancing in the darkness, her tiny features sporadically lit by the inconsistent flame. My wife accompanying her in the dance, their movements awkward – halting and beautiful.

I am here. I am trying to be here, to be a part of this beauty. I am wishing that I could simply be absorbed by it, taken in; a held breath. I am here. I am here.

 

C.C. Russell has published poetry, fiction, and non-fiction here and there across the web and in print. You can find his words in such places as Split Lip Magazine, The Colorado Review, and the anthology Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone. He currently resides in Wyoming where he sometimes stares at the mountains when he should be writing.

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