Heat: a plethora of drowsy and a dearth of sleep. Where dreams can't form, there flourishes reverie. This I like about heat.
Despite our amateurish ventures into grooming, Dog is heavy coated, and that is why we leave the steamy lanes for the cool and wakeful woods. No grass scorch here, only the bone dry mysteries of some dead branches amongst fountains of green leaf, the fresh arch of ground cover ferns.
Oh, look, an open gate: and that is why we edge the waving crop field. Tall grasses keep our feet cool, the rest is hot idyll. In the cattle field the beasts sprawl. We take the first descent to the river.
Things seem to spring to being, most dreamlike: the trees, the gaping gate, the tree root steps down to the water. Unplanned and obvious.
I think of last night, after work: we stopped on a cliff top, watched the sun set into low cloud, the sea was gentle, it sounded like breathing.
Tell me something I asked: and the sea whispered: Mermaids exist. You are one. I had been too long in the sun, I thought.
Here the sun refracts from dark surface. Unsighted feet slide, where they touch the rock and riverweed. Where they don't touch, arms slide out; limbs swim. Heart trembles. I love this: so what is it that I fear? Unknown things: murky as this river.
Against such doubt is set shoals of tiny fish, a dragonfly snapping gnats, acrobatic birds, the broad winged heron in flight, the secret sculpture garden of uncovered tree roots, these stony shores only visible at low water. I swim past the Oak Dragon: Dog swims right under its tail: startles a duck family: her surprise swiftly channels to pursuit. I laugh at the slaps of water on the rocks as she fails to swim faster than a startled duck.
Underneath me bubbles pop, from a source unidentified.
On a submerged rock I sit, fully clothed.
I hadn't meant to be in the river, I am thinking, casually poking at rock slime, watching the blips of fish.
If they are fish… and not river mermaids. They exist. I am one.