night swimming

The night is calm and muggy, the salt air swirling around us on our walk to the beach. The sand splays out before us like a smoothed floor. The water is quiet and lighted by a full moon. We are so excited to see the sea, the Isle of Palms at night; this is what we are here for.

A few girls walk to the edge of the water. Suddenly a small group is undressing then the group grows bigger. Seconds later there are naked women running to the water, arms raised, voices calling out in freedom. The moon shines down to illuminate the silhouettes of bodies in the water, heads floating above the ripples, breasts barely touching the surface.

We are goddesses. We are magical nymphs. We are mermaids with iridescent scales. We bob and swim and relish the freedom of seawater skimming our bodies buoying us in the moonlight. Live sand dollars are buried beneath our feet. We free them and inspect them. They are brown in the moonlight. We let them go. We swim. We join hands and kick our feet. We do handstands, legs and pointed feet rising above the deep blue. We are children again. This is freedom. This is nine women in the calm of the ocean at their most natural. This is innocent, illicit, and perfect.

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