It’s a supermoon tonight, she says.
“Tell me more about it,” you reply as you help her out of her shoes and into the canoe.
It’s when the full moon—or the new moon, either one—occurs just as the moon is reaching the part of its elliptical orbit that’s closest to the earth.
You think that science has never sounded sexier when it spills out of her rosebud lips. You tell her so.
She doesn’t reply, but you know she’s laughing on the inside. She’s laying at the bow of the canoe now, head lolling back as she stares at the moon.
You push the canoe through the mushy, murky lake sand and hop into the stern, and you row a steady, strong j-stroke out to the center of the lake.
She taught you how to row the j-stroke, how to curve the paddle and sweep it out to correct the canoe’s course. Of course, because she’s her, she watched you frantically paddle first, three strokes on the right and then two quick ones on the left. She watched you zig-zag your way to the other side, because the first time you went out on the lake together, you never paddled in a straight line. (She laughed, but never raised her paddle to help you.)
Now that you’ve mastered the stroke for single rowers, you joke about it.
She doesn’t reply, but you know she’s smirking on the inside. She’s laying at the bow of the canoe now, head lolling back as she stares at the moon, and she has a hand trailing in the water.
You reach the center of the lake.
“It’s a supermoon,” you whisper.
She’s always loved the moon. It makes sense that she loves the supermoon even more.
So at the center of the lake, when you’ve reached the moon’s large, luminous reflection, you lay the paddle inside the canoe—your arms aren’t even tired—and you think you might recite some Li Bai.
You don’t; she’s never understood your love of ancient Chinese poetry. She prefers to stare at the moon, not listen to drunken poets sing its praises.
Instead, you gather her in your arms.
“I love you,” you say.
She doesn’t reply, but you know she’s smiling on the inside. She’s gathered up in your arms, her head lolling back to stare at the moon, and she has a hand trailing in the water, and you know you can’t keep her.
You don’t recite Li Bai, but you run through some of his verses in your head as you help her into the water, as her feet splash and send ripples through the moon, as you lower her body into the supermoon and let her sink.Share...