A few giant boulders down, a cement bridge hovers over the ribbon of sapphire water. In its shade I can feel the shadows of things that happened here. No matter how hot the day, it is damp under the bridge, algae blossoming from cracks in the rocks where a chess board of accidents and dark souls have collided, mouths opening and closing, looking for comfort. Something is spray painted on the concrete’s underbelly, like a flag calling dark shapes to gather.
I shiver in the heat and turn away, leaving a drop of sweat that smells like fear, leaking something old and unfinished, flicking off memories that have started to unwind, and I pull at my shirt anxiously. Cold, cold water. I look to the left; throw my shirt into the pale branches of a dead tree. We jump in and our breath is stolen, little icicles popping in my chest, and I thread through the cold to touch the bottom, just once, because I have to. Breathing deep, stinging, blinking. I love the sun. An eagle dips and glides overhead, and I watch the glistening droplets on my chest moving up and down, hairs standing on end, the alchemy of sunshine turning pain into the bright nothing of summer.