he made it clear

with his cowboy smile

it was

okay to be myself

having

sweet tea in an irish joint

patrick’s roadhouse

green t-rex mounted on the roof

why the hell not

santa monica

pacific coast highway

a bust of rimbaud staring

at our obscene amount of french fries

we found ourselves eating in miss havisham’s sitting room

surrounded by

bric-a-brac of the damned

laughing at local customs 

i decided

on my fifth trip to california

(terrestrial green valley

little indian girl that i am)

to give myself to the pacific ocean

for the first time

so

we stopped in santa barbara

i was only going to dip my toes in

kicking off my ballet flats

but i allowed the tide

to pull me out

again and again until i

fully clothed in blouse and skirt

walked into the sea waist high

edna pontellier awakening

with no desire to die

it was that moment

i felt pure bliss streaming

down in salt water tears

it was that moment 

i was most alive