Two Fish in a Storm
We were walking.
Walking.
Past glittering bars, past the loud music
and laughter and frivolity
of the Saturday night crowd.
Walking, walking
until there were no more lights,
until the bars were tiny, luminous flecks on
the other side of the lake,
Like glimmering fireflies frozen on the
black horizon.

The lake was a calm ocean,
rimmed with planted trees,
And we raced to embrace one
once the storm started and the skies fell
down upon us.

Pouring, pouring,
soaking, drenching, drenched.
I had never been wetter in my life.
We laughed at the absurdity of it all,
the sheer strength of the downpour,
the uselessness of the skinny tree.
We were two fish lost in a feverish typhoon.

He put his arm around me.
By some miracle, his cigarette was still lit,
and we sat there, him smoking,
me breathing,
Listening to God cry,
watching sheets of sky plummet to the 
earth.

He kissed my shoulder softly,
so soft I thought it was just his breath,
then my cheek.
And there, in rain so thick
we could have both been weeping,
We attacked each other
hungrily,

earnestly,
tasting the salt on each other's tongues,
Wanting anything and everything of that
moment.

The moment passed,
the storm ceased.
I threw his cigarette into the brimming lake.
He took my hand,
still sopping wet, a fish's fin in disguise,
And we walked back toward the lights
of society.
Janet Li
Published in Issue 32