Aug 172011

In the blue-green glen we go off the path a little ways. It is a dry path, small dry stones marring the dust like the eye lost by those weird sisters, the Graeae, having fumbled it on a forward pass so that they must now live in the blind woman’s shoe with a helper dog. We sit down in Walt Whitman’s uncut beard and unpack our picnic. Small pita loaves, opened for stuffing with sauerkraut or blueberries, iced tea in a sweaty mason jar, two melted power bars whose wrappers flash in our eyes like reflected pool water on a low ceiling. My feet are red and sore when I unpeel them, flattened a bit and webbed, like the things a hovering tern grabs the aft railing with when the fog-wind blows too strong. We look up from our hungers, up the beautiful bowl of the dell, curved simply as an inverted skull painted green. Up and away, crouched in the scooped roundness of the abandoned forehead, a daub of yellow calmly surveys the valley. We recognize it after a minute when it crosses its paws and licks its whiskers. A cougar has lain down above us, its view of the coming sea that we can only hear much better than ours. We look at the cat carefully, passing the field glasses between us absently. Even in close focus, the cat is like one of those sun glints in the bend of the wave, the whole sun put down in one wet flash. After lunch I attempt to approach the lion and its folded paws, but am afraid.

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