Cliff Jumping

Alessandra Naccarato

In the backseat of a mustang you looked so much
like a movie. The sleeves of your shirt cut off
and gas station glasses. Open beer and the wind
forgiving nothing. I was almost myself, watching
road signs disappear and leaning from the window,
dress billowing. Three cows and a horse, the car
behind us swerving as you aimed corn chips
at their driver. Narrow black road and wide green
fields, we raced the light to the water. Techno high
as it blued and the sun dipped low. It was enough
to forget how the body can break. You stood
on the seat, hands raised to the light. A can in
your left, refracting. I gripped your ankles
as beer rained down. So many ways to be
baptized. Two miles to the cliff, where we’d hurl
ourselves like pieces of stone. Where I’d stand dry
by the car in a bathing suit, embarrassed. This is
the only body I have. I tried to tell you that
on the way back, when your hands wouldn’t leave
my skirt and the driver kept asking if he should
pull over. No was the only word I said.

Alessandra Naccarato is a writer, performer, and educator based in Vancouver. Winner of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writer, and finalist for the 2014 CBC Poetry Prize, her writing has appeared across North America. She is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC.

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