• Julie Bolitho

on visiting a friend

when my best friend from university

tells me that he has just been accepted

to San Francisco State

I give him the reply

that when it comes time for me to fly and visit

I will meltdown

slide straight from the tarmac peaks

beyond the docks buffed by tourists’ feet

past the sea lions of pier thirty-nine

and into the Pacific

where I will float to the Golden Gate

and shake fins with the fish

dining under the red

beams in full sun

I will crash white

into the cliffs below

the reserve where my first Lover and I

hiked for miles and I learned to start

painting the wind with my fingertips

orchestrating color and love

when he walked ahead and above

onto the next trail

not to see how the rocks in the distance

ancient and jagged

called to me

and then I will recede

after I beat what remains

of Lover

in the heart

plastered to watery boulders

forgetting the shoulders

of one who crept over you

and when my body is limp

waves will swish

the flesh to the shoreline

where I will wash my skin with sand

hold seaweed in my mouth

starfish in my eyes

the hair of the anemone will rise and fall in the wind

and I will rebuild like sand castles erect

a broken body of salt

used to cleanse wounds

tides to wash the thighs

and places Lover felt that only rocks

should know

and then, only then, can I visit

San Francisco

to see my friend

© Julie Bolitho.“on visiting a friend” Poem. Bodies of Work. University of Cambridge Press: 2010, online edition found at: http://www.bodiesofwork.info/Contents.html

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