Cliff Diving in the Nature Preserve – Christian Wessels

I have, as far as I know,

experienced everything I will experience:

a seagull shit in my hair on the beach;

in the sunflower field,

hiding from the police, I napped;

or trespassing a beach cabana and blending daiquiris.

I am certain I won’t love like that again.

All those days were cultivated

by realtors and developers—

the hospital where I was born

demolished to build a condo complex for retirees.

In the center of my suburb, called a “historic village,”

philanthropists designed

a nature preserve to honor their son who died in a plane crash

and, for reasons unclear to me,

loved rhododendrons.

On a trail carved for bucks

a ranger caught me chopping tree stumps

and threatened to call the cops.

I do too, love rhododendrons, for the shape of their name.

I don’t remember any cliffs there—

nowhere near the coastline—

but there could be cliffs if I ask politely