Just how we arrived
at pier’s end
past midnight
cannot now be said
nor can memory tell
what we had in mind
walking out alone
but you followed
me up and over the gate
down the ramp
to the boat dock afloat
on the flat black water
lapping the pontoons
upon which we rose slowly
and slowly fell
breathing the briny night
where we sat
removed our shoes
rolled our pant legs up
swung our feet over
and slipped them
under the cold surface
while the sundried scurf of baitfish guts
crusting splintered planks
pressed our palms
and you
with your wild sound
rang and kicked the water
into a brilliance
into a million milky Tiffany lamps
shooting like stars scattering
across the muddled mirror of space
surfing out into a nothing
that made us spring
into something of our truer selves
part child part criminal
part ineffable cretin
just happy to splash
and splash until we realized
if it weren’t for the hour
or the lack of towels
or change of clothes
or that I weren’t the bolder
we could perhaps hazard a plunge
into that living galaxy lit below

Joshua Peralta lives in Oakland, California. "Bioluminescence" is from 3rd & Orange, a novel-esque poetry & prose project that will be finished soon. Other poems from that collection can be found in Ariel, Riprap, Spot Lit Magazine, and most recently online at The Good Men Project and Spry Literary Journal.