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* DESIRE *

I sit alone upon the shore, knuckling the sleep from tired eyes. I'm wrapped up tight in my dusty trench coat, which last night had served as a blanket. I wouldn't recommend its use in that capacity, however, circumstance will sometimes demand versatility. The sun, now shining bright, has just crested the tree line on the far shore of this lake. I am assuming its radiance was responsible for my impromptu awakening. Right now I feel I could really use that extra five minutes of sleep that a snooze button offers.

Tendrils of my matted hair stretch southward, floating on a north born breeze. I note these things while staring the morning sun full in the face. Not that these facts have any baring on my life at this point in time but I've always felt it was a good idea to know which way was where, it helps you stay grounded. The morning sun, to state the obvious, is a clear indicator, a beacon if you will that says, "This way be east."

I reach into my pocket, and find my cigarettes without event. My lighter on the other hand, on the same hand actually, eludes me for the moment. I fumble in my pocket, past a pack of gum, my key chain, and a wad of bills, only to find it hiding amongst some change. I manage with some difficulty to get my cigarette lit, neath the cover of a cupped hand. Forced to turn this way and that, to avoid that damnable breeze which extinguished my flame no less than three times. Would that I had my good old trusty six notch Zippo lighter. You just can't go wrong with a six notch Zippo.

The water laps gently on the shore I'm sure the sound is not uncommon here abouts, but it has yet to lose it's novelty with me. The Sun, in golden splendor, lays that cliché path of light to the far bank across the water. Daring me to validate its stability by crossing, but I am no messiah, despite my delusions of grandeur. It pleases me more, merely to behold its beauty, rather then to chance conquering its impossibility.

The smoke I exhale, twists away to nothing on the breeze. That selfsame breeze brings a variety of fragrances, which delight my sense of smell. the smell of grass, and wild flowers, the smell of pine, and spruce. The most prevalent scent however, is that familiar smell of the coming rain. That thick musty smell, for some reason, has always brought me pleasure.

It was only chance that made me stop here last night. Well, chance and fatigue, but mostly chance. Letting me awake to the sight of nature in its finest hour. Its beautiful country out here, God's country, and many more parts are edible. The impact of this scenery amazingly gives me a craving for a bowl of Grape Nuts - but I hate Grape Nuts. Having none anyway, I do not lament.

A smile escapes me as I jump start another cigarette. I extinguish the first one, and stow the butt away in one of my many pocketsis. Remembering that it takes quite some many years for a filter to biodegrade. Besides, I'd rather not be responsible for staining this ecological niche, Bad karma you know.

The wind picks up, It's chill causing involuntary shudders, which in turn cause me to retreat further into my coat. Languid raindrops begin to fall in a slight drizzle, but the sun surprisingly does not give way. 'Sometimes the sun shines when it's raining'. I've heard that phrase somewhere before. Perhaps it was in a song, because it comes to mind accompanied by a melody. The sight anyway is breathtaking, and though I've seen it several times before, it seems somehow new to me. Each raindrop from the sky is refracted by the morning light, causing a cascade of tiny rainbows. I'm captivated by the sheer prismatic beauty of the moment.

With effort I pull my eyes away, looking instead at the golden bridge upon the water. Each bombarding drop of rain leaves its ripple on that gold plateau. Each ripple swelling outwards, to vanish in subsequent ripples of other droplets. My eyes shift in and out of focus, as the whole lake comes alive beneath the barrage of shimmering light. Comprehension fails me, as every tiny raindrop, every shadowy, twinkling ripple begins to take on the appearance of sequins in candlelight.

Everything shimmers, as if I were transported into a fairytale, and I blink my eyes in attempts to adjust my vision. I have never before been witness to an optical illusion of this magnitude. The brief drizzling rain began to taper off, but for some reason the illusion persisted. My eyes refused to return to any resemblance of proper focus.

While I rub my rebellious eyes a shadow erupts from the water, throwing a spray of crystal droplets in the air. I watch in slow motion blinking as that shadowed form took shape in my mind. A woman stands frozen, drops of water hang in the air around her magically. Naked-waste deep in the water, she is surrounded by diamonds of light.

All at once, those diamond crystal-droplets fell, cascading to the surface of the lake. I can only blink as she walks dreamlike from the water, silhouetted by that morning sun. Water runs off her shadowed form in glittering rivulets, only to disappear in the glow of the suns reflection. She shakes her head around flinging more water into the air. Her body bare, is small and slim, but her stride, and composure exude a sense of strength - of confidence. My cigarette drops half finished from paralyzed fingertips as I sit statuesque upon the shore.

Her body sheds its silhouette as she springs lightly, from the water to the bank before me. She pauses only to shake her long black hair, yet again, causing a sparkling aura of halo. I refuse even to breathe for fear it might disrupt this magic. Cicadas trill softly, as I frantically search for something coy to say. Finding nothing I can only stare as she sits down before me.

Her skin was brown, not golden as if tanned, but brown, and still flecked here and there with drops of water. Stray strands of water soaked hair clung across her face. Black as midnight, compel-ling me to reach up and pull them off. I decline to do so, still crushed by my fear of marring this vision. Speechless, I stare into her bright green smiling eyes, as she speaks.

" Do you know who I am?" She asks with a hint of laughter.

" Yes," I reply calmly, attempting to sound truthful. I can lie very well under pressure. Given the severity of my confusion, I thought I did rather well.

Her eyes narrowed slightly, with doubting scrutiny. She looked into my eyes, tilting her head slightly. " No you don't," she said, half giggling.

I began to stammer out some lie hoping to fortify my first one, but gave up when she shook her head. She laughed lightly, placing a finger on my lips to shush me. I generally shush well too, when properly motivated, but this time I mumbled into silence.

I sat blinking for a moment as she paused, still staring deep into my eyes. She smiles at me and I shiver awkwardly beneath her gaze. " I am Desire," She says, as she leans forward to kiss me. I shut my eyes as our lips meet. The darkness deepens as the shadow of her head fully eclipses the sun behind her. A tiny spark of light in the corner of my mind causes me to jump.

I awake upon the banks of a lake, wrapped in a dusty trench coat. The sun is beginning to crest the tree line of the further shore. Discontentedly I light a cigarette by the strong flame of my six notch Zippo. A deep sigh escapes me as I wait for the rain that's prophesied on this early morning breeze.

©8-10-93
W. A. MOGOLLON

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