She pumps the buoyant piece of foam shakily above her head before committing to the water. She tells him she’s here celebrating her birthday, alone. She flew into Venice for the weekend and booked a suite with a balcony and a mini-bar. She rented a bike with a wicker basket but could only prop the kickstand before the alcohol started to zoom through her. Waves crash over her. He promises she’ll get the hang of it; says it gets lighter on the brain. He asks about teaching. Her limbs bob above the surf. He’s wrong. Experience weighs heavier.
Jennifer Ledbury is a writer living in California.