Day 978, February 15, 2023

Folding Chair

A woman wrote about an old folding lawn chair, 
a beach chair. 

The aluminum tube frame, 
The nylon strap webbing, 
frayed and splitting
at parts making sharp prickly ends. 

Maybe there were weathered 
real wood arm rests. 

I loved pressing my face against the sun-warm webbing, 
the chair folded flat. 

A boy could make it tip and tilt until he was comfortable, 
twisted and contorted 
until as much of his body was touching the chair as possible. 

He imagined being entirely wrapped in the webbing
like a bright yellow mummy set out in the sun. 

It is a bright warmth 
like a roasted water chestnut wrapped in bacon. 

I also liked the chairs woven out of narrow PVC tubes. 

To push one’s arm between the wide weave 
until it dangled under the chair, 
brushing the grass with his fingers, 
digging into the coldness underneath the sand. 

He is tanned and skinny and flecked with sand. 
There is a sensation 
once the arm was thrust through the chair, 
that it no longer belonged to him. 

Like watching a dog run off dragging a leash, 
or letting the playground ball roll into the street. 

He is a in town stockade 
and all four limbs are secured and locked in place. 

Someone gets mad and says he is ruining the chair. 
There is nothing more pleasing, 
he thinks, 
than to have one’s limbs squeezed in a gentle embrace. 

Can you smell the sea? 
The decay? 
The powerful freshness. 

The sand leaves a sticky film 
that gets under his fingernails and dries there. 

His forefinger tastes salty when he touches it to his tongue. 


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