Marie Howe

Low Tide, Late August

That last summer when everything was almost terrible

we waded into the bay one late afternoon as the tide had almost finished

pulling all the way out

and sat down in the waist-deep water

I floating on his lap facing him, my legs floating around him,

and we quietly coupled,

and stayed loosely joined like that, not moving,

but being moved by the softly sucking and lapping water,

as the pulling out reached its limit and the tide began to flow slowly back again.

Some children ran after each other, squealing in the shallows, near but not too near.

I rested my chin on his shoulder looking toward the shore.

As he must have been looking over my shoulder, to where the water deepened

and the small boats tugged on their anchors.