When we were in the sun, I could see the stretch marks bloom out from your hips like flowers in the spring. They spread like rapid wild fire. I’ve thought about what that would be like, to know your skin cannot contain you. How did you end up with that skin? That’s not ready for you? The sun bounced off the tiny blonde hairs on my toes. I thought about how our bodies laid out flat in the sun weren’t really our own. How we lost them in that moment to the eyes of those around us. How I found myself following the fullness of the bodies around us. The prepubescent boy building sand castles. The mom who did a handstand for her instagram, probably. The younger mom who sprinted in her bikini top. I wondered if it made any difference, to see us half-naked. I knew it did. How much more you can read on someone when they’re not wearing clothes. How much more honest our bare skin was in the sun: this is my birthmark; my scars from the riverbed; the marks of old sunburns; my fall; your growth. How much more of our story is there, under our tshirts and our shorts. How different we are, once we pull our shirts over our heads.
But then the wind picked up and we scattered. Clothes intact.