Holding On

I grip the water as I would a window ledge
Until it crumbles into droplets under my fingers
Suddenly I am touching her skin again
Gently. My arm lying along hers, as if along the surface of Walden.
I do not strive for power or stroke myself through water
I am holding my love for her in our touch
Limb on limb
in Walden.

She is sixteen
Young blemished
Beyond her age with the cruelties of cancer and illness.

I see her face shining
As the sun sets over my shoulder.
Casting its golden light on the wrinkles of water I glide in
Her face and the Buddha I pray to for her health
And her radiant smile to return.

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