the sand was still cold from nighttime, it was morning
and we were allowed to go to the beach alone.
we put sand down the fronts of our one-pieces
forming two mounds over our young chests
paraded around with our hands on our hips
and our shoulders thrown back.
the sand slid down our bathing suits
and gathered into a hill at our bellies
that we lightly pressed our palms against.
the sand did not come out easily.
it fell between the bathing suit and its mesh liner,
“I know!” and took my hand, jerked me towards the sea
we were running
and I knew it was going to be cold but I didn’t care and when we reached
we just kept running until the ocean took our legs out from under us and we floated
the waves were gentle and we ducked our heads under the surface
where things were a whole lot quieter.
I remember her hair, suspended in that darkness and fanning out, away from her.
We came up for air, she spit and wiped her nose with the back of her hand
“I wanna stay eleven years old for as long as I can,”
and I thought that even though her Mom probably told her to want that, that was exactly what I wanted too.