The current was strong, but I jumped in anyway.
The cold was bracing; my breath left my body as I paddled madly toward the shore.
Splashing and laughing, I managed to glance behind me. Your strong arms were quickly pulling your form through the water. You were close. I scrambled onto the shore, knocking my bony parts against the boulders but feeling none of it. In the moss that consumed the hillside, you caught up to me. I let you take me there like the wild animals we are.
You thought you had me then. Thought your feats of strength had made me yours. And I was. At least for a time.
All who love me must eventually learn that I cannot be tamed. These were our mistakes: mine, not letting you know that love, for me, is expressed through freedom. Yours, in assuming I wanted to be held in the way you can hold. Such mastery in your embrace. Such grace in my exits.
I’m sorry I cannot dress your wounds. I’m sorry I cannot bring you a warm meal and let you bite my flesh somewhere we aren’t allowed to do that kind of thing. But sorry is rarely enough, so I’ll leave that word aside. Instead, I will say to you, remember the river. Remember the month when the sun finally came out and your smile greeted me in the mornings. Remember the way your motorbike hugged the curves as I hugged you in that time when we could not be close enough.
I promise you, every time I leap headfirst into the waves, I will remember that too.