Objects in Mirror
My mother lies long in the sun.
I am four. I play far away,
Near the shore, where seaweed tangles, stranded.
If she were awake, I would be tiny in her sight.
The white sand, the shells, the waves
I listen to. I wonder why she sleeps.
She wakes and walks down to me,
Sand caked on each sole.
Her bikini, darker blue than sky.
She loosens the clip from her long, long hair
And gives it to me.
I dig a hole and place it safely,
With a heap on top, to remember.
She disappears deep into the rolling water.
I imagine sharks
Until she emerges slick, glistening.
Her tanned thighs throw the ocean to either side.
As I look up and she looks down,
Cold saltwater drips from her face into mine.
I think of ice cream as I watch her wind wet hair
Into a white towel. She ties another around my waist
Like a skirt. I sink my feet into her prints,
Walking back behind her quickly, burning.
She sees my brick-red shoulders
And turns the skirt into a shawl.
Watch your hands, she says,
And the car door slams.
My finger underlines the words
In the mirror, as if I were reading them.
The hair clip the waves will take tonight—
Adam King lives in Silver City, NM. He holds an MA in counseling. His poems have been published in Blue Mesa Review, St. Elizabeth Street, Seattle Review, and The Tongue. He is currently working on a screenplay based on the life of H.D.