Stephanie Mood
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  • You come in big
  • and high from the beach
  • though your shoulders are small
  • your arm is in place around the red board
  • and your orange swim trunks are
  • just where they should properly be
  • but I know the way your ass curves
  • soft as a sea mollusk
  • the line I trace with my finger
  • reaching under, coming up to the tip
  • and the foam of the wave.
  • You come in dripping with saltwater
  • a thousand kisses riding home
  • You swim in on your feet like whales
  • spinning weightlessly off a piece of air
  • a shaft of light, off the shoulders of the sea.
  • Down below, it is magical there
  • and I know the world of the fish and curving grass
  • billions of hidden stars, I’ve seen them.
  • I’ve kissed you, too, because you come in
  • because our eyes are watering each other
  • and our lives are naked together in the air.

Until her recent retirement, Stephanie Mood taught English literature, composition, and creative writing at Grossmont College. During that time, she served as coordinator of the creative writing program and instituted the annual Literary Arts Festival at the college. Currently, she serves as a board member for Ocean Beach People’s Food Co-op, where she works to encourage healthy organic food consumption and to educate people about the successes of the cooperative business model. “Elementary” is from Stephanie Mood’s collection
California Poems: Gold in Them Hills, which can be ordered from Xlibris at [email protected].

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