we gather at the beach
where the river meets the sea

beers and kabobs
sweet potato salad from Mary’s garden
dogs brush legs
the sun goes down

by the fire
beautiful women
circle hips
with hula hoops
at sunset

pink clouds turn grey
orange embers flit
into darkening air
swirling in smoke

I try
the hoop
circling circling circling
then don’t want to stop
white foam in the distance

“You look like you’re at a Grateful Dead concert”
a friend says from afar
I keep circling
“Is it because I’m wearing a skirt?”

“You just look like you know what you’re doing.  Like one of those hoopers at a Dead show”

the sacred hoop
the wheel of life
sun setting on small waves at sea
maybe my secret’s seeping through my hips

to open to life completely
to die in utter surrender

the marshmallows are out
Jeb’s made two s’mores
white goop stuck to full cheeks
granules of sand glued to sugar sweet
charcoal-covered hands

he comes to embrace me
head, heart-high
face on my blouse
hula hoop at my ankles
sand sifting through my toes

courtesy of derek gavey

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