I believe in salvation. I believe in forgiveness. Falling down the rabbit hole. Dark tunnel closing in like a funnel above. Still a bright white circle at the top. Rocky walls, textured walls, wet walls around me. Tunnels to wiji boards and magic and sacred pools in Hana Hawaii. Love. Bliss. Foamy water. Ocean . Sea. A crevice in the rock. Falling back into the rabbit hole. Black tunnel closing above like a funnel. Never landing just floating.
I smell the magnolia tree. I see it from the porch. It is summer and we are wearing bathing suits. It is my birthday. I am 8. I am in love with Kevin Chernetsky and he came to my birthday party. He is wearing an orange t-shirt and glasses. The glasses make him look smart. He is my first love. We are in school. Second grade. The desks are small. Even for little people. I give him a valentine. I am nervous and sweaty. I know that I want him but I don't think he wants me. His sister is scary. She knows karate. She threatens to hurt me. Kevin is soft. His sister is hard. I'd have to go through her to get to him. I never make it.
His finger runs over her shoulder, down her arm, over her wrist, stops at her hand. Reaches back up, her waist, her ribs, her breast. It's not my shoulder, not my arm, not my wrist, not my hand. But he touches it and he loves it and it burns my belly. Like rock salt, like hot wings, like margaritas, it burns in my belly. Like someone is kicking me. Like I'm giving birth. Like I'm cramping inside. It hurts my belly.
I put my head on his chest and let myself cry. He is my friend and it is nice. His soft spongy vest like a vertical pillow. He puts his arm around me, in friendship, in love and I am grateful. We sit in the park and we talk. I ramble. My words falling like marbles on the ground. Blue. Red. Yellow. White. I ramble. He listens in the big space between two people who know the same story. We leave the story on the bench and walk to the deli. The deli is the first place I went with Eric. We sat and talked. He told me about his trip. I knew he was leaving. I knew he was leaving before I slept with him. I knew after I slept with him. I slept with him anyway. When I got the email that he was seeing other girls, touching other girls, kissing other girls, my body went up in a flame like a magic trick, poof. I was gone.
I slide into the water. Feet. Ankles. Calves. Thighs. Hips. Waist. Oh, it's so good. Chest. Throat. Face. Head. I am under and above. I am heavy. I am light. I am in the sacred pools. There are seven of them with waterfalls in between. The last pool, the bottom pool is closest to the ocean and it empties like a cliff. Like a deep throat into the sea. And I sit at the edge, suspended between God and the water, between pink clouds and jagged rocks. I sit at the mouth of the pools like a seed floating on the tongue. I don't deserve to be happy. I want it. I want to be saved but I don't deserve it. I believe in salvation. I believe in forgiveness but for you, not for me.