There was nothing like the feel of waterlogged boards drying under my bare feet. The way my hair smelled like the cast of a reel, something between bait and wind blown over bayou grass. It was the way the sun melted right into the waterline; an orange puddle that blended the seam between water and sky. Fragments of it’s light would scatter down waves all the way to the pier, illuminating abandoned neon corks as they bobbed between currents and fish hooks left in fallen trees. How we would romp in spandex bathing suits stretched across our barrel chests, ignoring the taunting calls of older brothers and the splinters in our skin. How my body was a vehicle and nothing more. Legs made for churning out speed down an ancient dock, ams made for hauling up the pier ladder, the bottom rungs covered in sea slime.
In that hour, all was washed persimmon. In that hour, the water was still warm.
Maybe it felt so sacred because it was the last fleeting moment before an adult would open the screen door, lean out and wave a hand through the wet air, beckoning us in.
We would make our way to the camp, little bodies exhausted in the way only eight hours of sunbeams can bring. With heaving breaths and damp towels, we turned our backs on the water, dripping sunken ships and pearls as we went.