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Soft bodies lay stretched out on  sun warmed rocks, surrounded by turquoise water. Waves came in, gentle. Water kissed the edge of rugged rock. Water filling and emptying pockets of rock pool with jellied anemone, wetting to become shiny and then drying again in an instant under the delicious heat from the sun, like a nervous tongue licking dry lips.  Bodies in rest. Bodies loose with heat and tongues slackened to backs of mouths and eye balls pooled in eye sockets and breasts lolling sideways to rest in armpits. Breasts, some small, puckered and erect, others huge, rolling away in opposition with nipples large enough to fill hungry mouthfuls, baptized by yearning tongue and gentle teeth. 

Ray surveyed with curious squinted eyes, comparison swooped and pulled a darkened curtain across vision but then swiped away and she landed back in presence, on pure delight in their bodies, all of them. The varying, wobbling unity in them all on the sun warmed rock. 


A dried salt layer had formed on Ray’s fingers from most recent swim in the turquoise water that cushioned the sharp edges of their seat. The salt; dry and dusty, became an accidental seasoning for the thick sweet drops of nectarine juice that ran slow and sticky down her wrist as she bit a pit deep border between ripe orange and yellow nectarine flesh. They had bought these earlier from a local shop in the city and stuffed them in feathery blue plastic bags with fresh baguette and deep, plummy tomatoes. 

‘Do you think this will be enough?’ Ames had asked, their sandals slapping smooth on tiles of shop floor as they slid through aisles of jewelled cans and unfamiliar flavours of crisps. They had made sandwiches for lunch from fresh baguette, stuffed with tomato, cheese and crisps that filled the bread with salt and crunch and softness. Upon arriving at the rock, Ames fell asleep, back resting in rock crevice but Ray sat considering moving to her nectarine. She felt the small, rounded shape in her bag all the way to the rock. She checked on it several times throughout the morning, as if it were a small child in the inner pocket. She let herself sink into the sweetness, only once she had finished her coffee, read 100 pages of her book.

Ray sucked the sweet juice from wrist and sent it to the back of her throat. She delighted as the sweetness covered her tongue, roof of mouth and teeth. She closed her eyes. The breeze was there but hardly, now and then, reminded their bodies of its presence. These two, their usually busy hands and body and mind lay back and languished in the breeze and heat: a small triumph, one that had not been achieved in months. Ray reconciled with an old practice, following her breath cycle as her lungs filled and emptied, filled and with sometimes staggering breath. Relief. This practice felt fruitless back at home, in the madness. City life was chaotic and played parallels with the churning of her mind, revving like a hot engine. Ray thought back to the grind and became accustomed with a sense of relief whilst her knees knocked together on this sun warmed rock. Whilst resting in body and sensation like this, she was able to grasp some distance from the feeling of not enoughness that she was so familiar with. There was a pattern. Ray had dug a well trodden route, believing in her inferiority and following this by demanding more from her body, filling it with stimulants or alcohol or sugar or sex or whatever that would fill the aching void for a few moments. This had been on repeat for years but something had started to shift, in fact things that got so bad. She had been so broken that she had found her bottom. She was crawling on her battered knees, hitting a wall so many times that she couldn’t go on. On that day, she hadn’t touched a drink or drug for 2 years. Tears filled her vision, filling her eyes with juicy tears, instantly blackened eye lashes, which wetted and clung together like lovers at night under cotton sheets. 

Ray observed, in the round, as relief, grief and wonder sprung and fell from the floor of her mind, returned and settled back down again only to be met again by a new thought, swooping in. She rolled over, hip joint jutting into deep, grey rock and tickled juice sticky fingers on the back of Ames hand. Smoothing over with gentle touch so as not to startle but to indicate the golden silence between them would be broken. They lifted their head from the rock, so that their chin descended into their neck and opened their eyes. “Lunch?” 


I'm Jess (she/they), a queer writer who uses writing and words to express joy, pain and divinity.

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