La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Katherine Liu

Blue noise. Hard sun. Summer plays its heat
           across my back as La Fortuna crashes, cold

water misting into light while tourists test limbs
         wet from skimming dew, droplets, worn

pebbles rolling beneath their heels.
         Vines rustle, drag the distance, and stray rivulets

cascade too. Another couple slips into the pool –
         this roaring as they laugh. Somewhere, a pebble

plunges and inverts under the trembling of feet.
         But I am not naked here. I am not skinless

nor browned by sun. In this version of the present
         I am simply sitting. The water still falls

while bodies continue to edge beneath
         the mouth, their arms raised in invitation –

for this present rolls, all-encompassing, consuming
         every version of the world. The water falls

interminably. It bubbles, calls – and yet. Something
         inverts. Some tourists pick themselves out of surf

to cross other rocks, warm slap of sunscreen
         beside the aged hint or embrace of sea. Their bodies

pale like blindness under the sun.
         They will never be any younger than this,

clambering over rocks into colder versions
         of themselves, starved for joy they slip through,

for time, for this water they were never given
         to keep.