The next time I see you, we’ll spend hours dancing through the centennial and greet doves with pecks on their beaks before we must fly away. In between these moments, I’ll watch you dive with sharks and pinch their fins between your fingers. When you’re done, we find a large Coca-Cola bottle waiting for us just outside, too big to sit at the table, but we pour one anyway. When our chatter ceases, there’s a car ride waiting for us, a trip through Buffington curving around through the south where I listen to you speak and laugh and let your words fill me as you drive. Buffington turns to Osaka. Osaka turns to Picacho. Picacho to Atlanta. Atlanta to Orlando. Orlando to Queens. We settle in the loft, the same bed we rolled out into the ocean when there was nothing better to do than to swing through waves. Or rather, let the waves swing through us. I don’t need you to speak every moment. Instead, try to see what words the ocean life can understand when we whisper into the water. Dip your head in, watch your white hair turn pink, a paint brush dipping into the water’s palette. The next time I see you, we’ll spend hours dancing through the centennial and greet doves with pecks on their beaks before we must swim away. Until then, I’ll settle for hearing your voice during our calls. The only way I can see the water we’ll share one day is hearing you paint its mirror with your voice.
Adilene Hernández [she/her/hers] is a queer Latina poet, writer, and educator based out of Atlanta, GA. She was a Fall 2020 HUES Scholar and is an alumna of the In Surreal Life Poetry Workshop, Winter Tangerine, and the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She is currently studying for her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Her work has been published in “Faceless Brown Masses” (Tintero Projects, 2020) and she is currently at work on her first YA novel and her first poetry book. She can be found at Twitter @hernandezadili.