Sandstone Cliffs

In summer nights

of Baja California

     you need no blanket

     to curl into your arms

         and clutch into your chest.

They sat

     with their heels pressed onto the edge of

         sandstone cliffs.

     They didn’t need blankets,

     their faces opened up to the black Pacific Ocean

chewing peppermint gum.

He asked him how far he could spit

     his peppermint gum.

He returned:

     Let’s bet?

He told him to set the stakes.

He said if he makes it past the rocks below,

     you kiss me.

If I don’t,

     I kiss you.

He smiled and said

     lets play.

And it was dark,

so the landing spot was cloudy,

     and the game became a silly slip

         towards a kiss

    sprinkled with salt

    and artificial peppermint.

Image: Part of the Cliff, Georgia O’Keeffe. Oil on canvas, 1946. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation.