Congaree Epiphany

To the five or so tiny

spiders, innocuous, pale

and curved as my fingernail,

please forgive me.

Unfounded fear mingles

with the dull throb of muscadine

wine, and a sigh of my paddle

sends your bodies plunging

below tannin-choked waters,

dark as chicory coffee. Between

a labyrinth of cypress knees,

I marvel when these exquisite

dancers soon surface,

buoyant miracles

pirouetting from the murk.

character sketch for Dina

She says I created a new painting today, and he ignores her; he types feverishly at the Mac. She resorts to her outdated Samsung, her best friend.

She looks at the computer below her lashes. She does this when she’s serious, when she knows she has nothing much to lose and not a lot to gain.

Later, when she’s just blurry enough, she piddles along in Word, phrasing, paraphrasing, diluting, revamping, exploring, typing these words now in recognition of typing. She listens to her favorite band in the moment-Bon Iver-and its particular sway, the lilt of a voice perhaps, a misplaced dabbling of banjo.

She thinks of the man she let go tonight. The man she barely knew but to whom she felt a connection as strong as an electric magnet utilized for a 5th grade experiment. His name contained one syllable, conveniently deceiving as his personality. His abs stood firm as his simple words in meaty, heart-dripping texts blazoned on phone bills that he paid for to be courteous.

To love best is to let go, right? Right? The color of their eyes match in the light of his bedroom just after the sun rises. Blue slides more into gray as they wrench from sleep with a dread of leaving. This dread remains pervasive. Why should they be so selfish?

How will they learn to let go benignly?