If I Were Water
I’d turn myself into cumulus cloud fluffy and white that the whole world would want to jump on me like a feather bed. If I were water, I’d become a hailstone and crash down onto an asphalt parking lot on a hot and sticky August day. I’d bounce off windshields and front walks and grow to the size of a baseball so a little boy would gather me in his hand to show his mother and then place me in the freezer next to the ice cubes and popsicles. If I were water, I’d turn into a puddle where Robins and Sparrows drink and bathe, fluttering their wings, drenching their tails. In the fall I’d become a thin layer of ice so I could feel the crack of the heel of a boot on a young girl breaking ice for the first time. When I tired of this, I’d transform into a one-of-a-kind snowflake. I’d be the most beautiful snowflake in the world, floating down, down, down onto a field where I’d land on the wooden post of a split rail fence, topping it like a layer of white icing on a cupcake. If I were water, I’d transform myself into a thick fog and blanket a sleeping village so the foghorn could blast Ooh, Ooh, Ooh and then I’d burn off and become a cirrus cloud and fly like a magic carpet all the way around the world. If I were water, I’d cry when I saw rivers filled with plastic bags and old cans and bottles. I’d beat down onto filthy streets to rid them of oil and grime. If I were a drop of water, I would sit in a dog’s bowl wating for its pink tongue to lap me up. If I were water, I’d put out forest fires, save the homes of squirrels and deer and all the birds. I’d feed the deep roots of Redwoods and Maples, and on mornings, slip as a drop of dew from their leaves and sparkle. If I were water, I’d refrain from cresting in a river, or breaching a dam or flooding a cellar. If were water, I’d gladly fill a bathtub, and brush your teeth and wash your hair in the shower, my soothing drops lulling you awake, rinsing you clean, steaming up your mirror. If I were water, I’d disappear for a day every so often and imagine you saying, What a wonderful day, not a cloud in the sky! Because I know you’d miss me.
Water flows from my wrists and elbows like rivulets. It cascades down my back, pools at my feet. I shower anyone who approaches me in this grotto. I am fountain, geyser, watery chimera. My fingers, waterfalls. Circulating, flowing. Never turned into clouds, or fog, or snow. I am never to feel the coolness of fresh, dry sheets, or fallen leaves crunching underfoot, or the warmth of a smooth, round stone heated under a noon sun. I am forever liquid. Items fall through me, or float on my surface. A man appears, tall, tan and bronzed from the sun. A trickle of sweat on his brow. He places his pinky into my elbow like a boy at a water fountain, then tilts his head, leans over and takes a long drink. I feel nothing. I long to embrace the solid, the dry, to touch this man’s eyelashes, his golden hair, feel the heat of his chest, brush my lips against his. But I cannot. All I know is wet, rushing water. He steps back and studies my soggy presence, his eyes move to my face, my eyes, my mutable limbs as he makes out the undulating outline of me. He steps towards me, then pushes his brawny fingers through the surface of my chest and his entire hand goes right through me. He holds it there, mesmerized, as I rush and swirl around him. He withdraws his arm, stares at his dripping sleeve, then at me disbelieving. I grin, my face rippling, my expression full of waves.
Andrea Marcusa’s literary fiction, essays and poetry have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Booth, Citron Review, New South, River Styx, River Teeth and others. She’s received recognition from the writing competitions Glimmer Train, New Letters, Raleigh Review and Southampton Review. Andrea divides her time between creating literary works and photographs and writing articles on medicine, technology, and education. To learn more visit: andreamarcusa.com or follow her on Twitter @d_marcusa
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