Little ones, my sons and my daughters
Your sweat is salty
I am why
I am why
I am why

- Bjork, 'Oceania'


This far from shore, the horizon disappears, a smudged out line, and the moon glows bright as day, dipping hands to admire its reflection. Slowly, it drifts across the sky.

Only the stars are watching.

You tread water and suck air, not being much of a swimmer, although Gran gave you lessons after the river took your parents away. The sea is warm, like lemonade left out in the Louisiana sun, and the unexpected touch that brushes your ankle is warm as well, warm as salt water, lemonade, and the blood beneath your skin. A trickle of sensation up your thigh and waist.

Your heartbeat is loud in your ears.

Trust me: you hear Eric say, in the calm, liquid voice than cannot lie. You have seen him defy gravity, but the water, it turns out, is his true element.

Let go.

When you do - like Venus, born at midnight - it is nothing like surrender.


19 January 2009