Whitecaps on Lake Erie by Robert Beveridge
Our favorite tree,
across from 98th in Edgewater Park.
A big maple, halfway
between the water and Lake Avenue,
a short walk from the playground.
A good, a very good
place to sit, to watch the water
with a riesling and some sandwiches.
Too often, we are sucked
in by life’s mundanities: the job,
the slow divorce, bad weather.
Here we can forget that we will cross
Lake Avenue at sundown
and I will go back to visitation
rights and papers, you
will go back to your husband.
But for now the sun
is behind the clouds, and the wind
blows whitecaps against the shore.
You shiver, press your back
closer to my chest, my arms
tighten, just a little, about you.
A half-full glass of riesling sits
just off the blanket beside us,
perched on a sheared-off maple root.
You turn your head up,
our lips press tight, then open
as the first rain patters
on the highest leaves above us.
The water stirs. The waves
get higher, whitecaps try
to turn away the rain
and fail. Water comes
together with water, as flesh
with flesh. Our clothes drift
lazy on the wind, float down
to cover the eyes
of the tiger who watches us
in beige and brown
Whitecaps on Lake Erie, 2, no break
from our blanket’s design.
Rain on my back, on your cheeks,
drops that search for a way
between our lips, our bellies,
find none, drip to the plush
We are alone here, in this rain,
us, our blanket, the half-full
glass of wine that sits
on the flat root. We pause
and watch it. Raindrops
splash into the riesling,
raise its level one drop further,
wine and water mix
in some sort of outdoor communion.
I feel your lips upon my throat,
the motion of you beneath me, turn
my eyes away from the glass
and its mingling liquids,
concentrate again on you,
our eyes locked and smiling,
familiar motions of two bodies
deep in love.
We are our own communion,
slow and gentle, chilled in rain.
We taste the flesh
of one another’s lips
and liquids mingle, my rain
into your wine, deep and immediate,
without question or concern.
Such is the way
of our love; deep. Sacred.
We mix, and cannot separate.
Soon we’re dressed again, and dry
as two with only a blanket
for a towel can be,
and the walk back to the car
is long, so long.
Every step another lifetime
as we trudge back towards Lake Avenue,
Whitecaps on Lake Erie, 3, no break
and our lives. The rain
has stopped, seeps into the earth
as it always does, and the wind.
It has passed, it has gone
wherever wind goes, left
the surface of the lake calm,
placid, just a ripple here and there
from fish. They come together,
separate, leave nothing
but a ripple, soon smoothed,
until they come again.
©2019 Robert Beveridge
November 2018 marked Robert Beveridge’s thirtieth anniversary as a publishing poet. When not writing, he makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Pink Litter, Triadæ, and Welter, among others.