"Shadows"

This was written for Rachel. I met her in Virginia Beach in the summer of 1975. She was very special and I will never forget her.

Once I found you in Virginia Beach
As the sun rose teasingly and slowly.
You were performing your T'ai Chi
 With beauty, grace and reverence
 (I didn't know what it was)
I watched you from the dune - captivated and intrigued.
I was your unsolicited audience.
The beach was empty except for you and me,
  And the rolling tide under a quick-rising sun.
Like the world had ended and only we remained.
Your skin glistened in that early morning sunlight.
  And before the next dawn I would be baptized in your perspiration.

It was the summer of Captain Fantastic and Red Octopus.
  It was the summer of sandalwood incense and musk oil.
And it was the summer of long walks along the beach
 And long talks and cigarettes glowing in the dark.
It was the most amazing summer:
  Dripping ice cream cones and laying on the beach
  Gin and tonic and flaming tequila shots,
  Making love with my eyes open.
This was the first summer I have ever lived.

Young and wild and idealistic,
We lived forever in just right now.
And I could feel life pulsing in my veins.
You changed me forever
  As you poured yourself all over me.
  And as I soaked you up like a thirsty sponge.
Never again could I look at a bed without a passionate thought.
The beach would never be the same for me-
  Nor would I ever be the same.

I was clay waiting to be molded and shaped-
  You were the sculptor.
I was the empty canvass waiting to become the portrait-
  You were the artist.
I was the lover whose lips had never really been kissed-
  You were my first real kiss.

Once I found you in Virginia Beach-
  And went with you as far as you could take me.
  Now I will take you with me in my dreams.
I found you in Virginia Beach
  As if meeting you was my destiny.
I found you.
  I found myself.
    I found love.
      I found life.
My whole world changed out of a piece of yours.
And after two weeks,
I left Virginia Beach.
I left there as I had arrived - alone.
Alone, but not at all the same as before.

Why did you leave me?
  Or did I leave you?
Did I lose you?
  Or did you lose me?
Why did you have to ruin it?
Damn you!
Why?
Why did you have to say "I love you"?
(Was that you who said it-
Or did I?)
Every time I think of us together,
It's a little bit different each time.

It doesn't really matter now -
Our sandcastles have long since washed into the ocean.
There are no footprints on the beach.
And no shadows on the walls.

1975 poetheart


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