But coming back! I'm in the post-massage state of deep relaxation and tenderness. Night has fallen. I'm off the clock. And I'm on the upper deck of the Marquam, swooping up over the river with all the glorious lights of Portland off to my left. By planning or by fate, one lane takes me all the way through the labyrinth, from the Sunset to I-405 to the Banfield. I don't need to think. I need only follow my path, rising up and over, the world rotating beneath me: city lights, dark water, gleams, and glimpses.
Not long ago -- I don't remember the holiday: was it Memorial Day? -- there was a fireworks display on the river, and the starbursts of light were all around me.
Those shoals of dazzling glory, pass’d,The return of a handclasp, a long exhalation. For a space of time, outside of the world of expectation and reckoning, outside of my own awkwardness and ambition. But the price of getting outside is accepting that I must go in again, without murmuring. And I do: but first, the interval of driving over the river, still breathing in tandem, still with my mind full of touch, of the long and detailed conversation of skin and skin. There's no translating it into words, and I won't try. But the nightfall and the trees outside the windows linger in my mind for days, and the hand-thrown pots that I must carefully step around. I am surrounded by making.
I lay my spirit down at last.