The Actress and the Grunion

The Actress and the Grunion

She was an actress
and even though I heard Wales in her voice
she was as American as French-fries.
I’d seen her in a play where
she bested the writing to make me laugh.
I lived two doors downhill to the ocean.
She was washing a car at the curb,
her damp roundness catching my breath.
As we talked of spawning tides she agreed to
come to my window when the time was right and
we would walk to the sea for the show.

The wet sand sucks at our feet and the ocean’s ribald tongue
licks the backs of our knees as we wait, expectancy held
like a mouthful of Pinot noir.
When they come they are millions.
Wriggling, the replace all of the water with themselves.
She gives a small cry and catches herself in my arms as the
grunion dance around our thighs in a living singing soup.
I should kiss her while the windows are
wide open and the world is perfect.
But the fish do it for us, everything, every passionate thing.
After the tide we join hands to walk back up the hill,
exhausted in their afterglow.