The River

I left my shoes on the riverbank.

The tendons under my skin stretched,

My toes sank into the sand.

I pulled my shirt over my head-

Left it beside my shoes.

I stepped into the water,

Slowly, carefully-

On round stones slick,

With moss.

Further I stepped-

To where the careening water,

Cut deep-

I walked in until the water,

Lapped hungrily at my bare thighs.

I was eager, yet hesitant,

It is easier to fling yourself wholeheartedly

Off some dock,

Or even to walk in until the water is deep,

than to lower yourself

Into its chilly embrace.

I sank down,

Stretched my body long in the water-

My full length in scattered sunbeams,

My still body quickened with the shock,

A thousand icy fingers,

Caressed the length of me.

My thighs tingled

As the water passed over me.

I stood-

Pulled myself from its embrace,

Though part of me wanted

Nothing more-

Than to sink back in,

And let the river stroke me,

For a while more.

Picking up my shoes and rumpled shirt,

I walked away, blushing.

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