You can put my pillow back on the bed, love.
Open the windows. I want to smell Old Road Bay when I walk in. I know the fish hooks are ready as ever, and that there is Miller Light in the fridge. That is what I want to do first. Grab a beer, or two, and walk out onto our peer, just like last time. The boards will squeal a merry greeting underneath our feet, one by one, and I will turn back to take in the Old Oak in her spring bloom glory. Knock-knock, beautiful gal. Did you miss me? I sure missed you.
I will want to watch the sun set over Sparrows Point, folded into your body like an armchair. You can lean your chin on my shoulder, and I will tell you about the crappy airline food and immigration and customs. Slurp, goes the beer. Pop, drops the acorn from the squirrel’s mouth.
Yes, shrimp would be wonderful. Heat up the grill, dearest, while I wash my hair and slip into your T-shirt. I am going to need a new one, the others are back in Europe. Here are the tongs and paper plates, she steps out the side door barefoot, her short-shorts barely peeking from underneath the T. I look at the church parking lot, and wonder if that man from last September has taught his little daughter to ride her pink bicycle by now, and if those goofy kids that spied on us from Sandy Beach are still a couple.
Please put my summer dress in the washer and get my flip-flops from underneath the bed. Tell the Island lighthouse to hold the cormorants, and Dock of the Bay to save us a table. I hear the ospreys are back, and the geese are shitting up the back yard. Do you think the crazy neighbor will want to take me out shopping again? ‘Cause she drives like a maniac.
Put my pillow back on the bed, love. I’ve shed some pounds and cut my hair; there is a new line on the side of my mouth; the tan from last year is gone. Your baby is sensitive and anxious, tremors and amplitudes. Let me climb in next to you, angel. I want to hear of Park Avenue and the Coast Guard, of buildings blown up and Behemoth ships drilled into repair. I want to hear of the men you brought safely home, and of the day you saved yet again. And then I want to make plans for all the friends we are going to see.
Hello, star-spangled banner on top of the post office. The clown shoes are coming home.