yesterday I stood on the beach, hair in stiff saltwater waves, my body speckled with clumps of damp sand, and struggled to win a battle between myself, an ice cream cone, and the brightest, warmest sunshine I've seen all summer.
you watched the spectacle quietly, and I didn't notice at first. the cone sprang at leak at the bottom as the top broke in two, and I accepted defeat. before too much of the ice cream could turn my palms sticky, I tossed the cone to a predatory-looking seagull and went about the business of attempting to clean myself up.
and it was in that hot, sticky, random moment that you decided to tell me that you love me for the first time. drops of chocolate on my bikini, makeup washed free from greasy sunblock and the ocean waves, your sunglasses pushed up over your head so I could look into your pretty blue eyes, the kindness in your smile so familiar and the hope so foreign yet so endearing, your red shirt soft where it was dry and cool where it was damp against my body when you pulled me in, a pinkish stripe of sunburn across your nose and cheeks, right there next to a round metal trashcan and a flock of seagulls fighting for a crushed ice cream, you told me you love me, and I keep playing it over and over in my head because I don't want to forget a single detail, not even the cloud of strangers passing on the boardwalk or the limitless blue sky, how beautiful the day was, how beautiful you are.
I hope I remember everything about this moment when I'm old. And I told you I love you too, because I do, beyond all measure, and when you kissed me, your lips tasted like salt.