whose kisses still hum around my wrists

I took this picture by the side of the river at Port Meadow after a long ride.

Here’s an excerpt form my narrative nonfiction piece Night Cycling , published in Identity Theory, about getting into a late-night cycling accident on a little island on the Thames in Oxfordshire:

I didn’t notice till then the thousand nettle stings rising like pearls on my wrists;  burning bracelets that he kissed and rubbed dock leaves, folk remedies and  wives’ tales on. The island was ours; each kissing gate and the kisses inside of  them, each water trough, every animal call, root, rock, dock leaf and bunker. Even the moon.  Back at the cottage we began exploring the topography of my body, another adventure: twigs in my hair, calves striped red and skirt smudged in tones of meadows and earths, juice of healing greens along my blistered wrists. The forest underlined me, accentuated me, painted me. I feel alive in this little village at 1 am, this unknown village whose dark places left their signatures all over my body, whose kisses still hum around my wrists.

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