Vicente R. Viray


I wake to the glow
of the first warm
day of spring, my head
pressed against the cottage
table. I can still smell
the sap from the apples
I cut yesterday
buried deep into the bleached
wood.  Outside, two boys, 
lovers, are lost in a flurry
of cherry blossoms,
grabbing and balling
the petals in their palms
as though they were snowflakes.

Two boys, years earlier: we sat
at the harbor watching
dusk stumble along the water
before we collapsed 
in a tangle of dune and the foghorn’s
insistent wailing.
I want to return to the moment
we ran into the tide,
when I lay flat on my back beneath
the pewter awning of a wave,
my body shifting with the swaggering
undertow, heedless
what was keeping it afloat.
Your arms? The salt? The seaweed,
bloated with brine?

But I only hear the wind 
rustling the blossoms of each tree, hear it
whistling through the bay
as it lifts the dune grass flattened
in the shape of our backs.

Vicente R. Viray is completing his master's in English Literature and Creative Writing at California State University, East Bay. His work has appeared in Occam's Razor. He lives in Oakland, California with his partner Paul and their dachshund Thomas.

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