Sunday, October 6, 2013

palos verdes. peninsula in the fog. brian disappears behind a oily black boulder, climbs to the jagged top, sits legs crossed, eyes closed. i must squint to make out his form in the viewfinder; his cream t-shirt almost indistinguishable from the sky so full of weak white light. M overturns pebbles with the edge of his black boot, scours the sand-less beach for driftwood, tangles of thorns, bleached branches we bend into makeshift crowns. we pose and preen in front of the camera. we wade in the water, crowns slipping, falling into the foam. we watch for the quick swish of a baby jellyfish, sea snakes twice as poisonous as river moccasins, or so brian says. when i slip on a rock, M catches me, steers me back to shore, two fingers wrapped around my wrist. we unfold a blue quilt on a hillside of sage scrub. no need for shade. the breeze blows our cloth napkins away. bean sprouts stuck between our teeth. salt and vinegar chips. i wipe potato grease on my dress. nipples poking through the thin, red paisley print fabric. i snap pictures of brian laying legs akimbo, hands folded, hidden behind his head. “don’t,” he says. i click, click, click. the sun sinks low, brushing the horizon, teasing it. this image is all we get: the fog rolls down from the hills, snuffing the highways.