The Wacissa River is short and broad and stays around 70 degrees all year. On my knees among the fish and snails, up to my chin in water and feeling the heat leech out of my body like poison, leaving me cool and healthy and heavy lidded. I touch my niece with cold hands and she gasps and shivers and giggles, perfect Florida baby. I wrestle my nephews and drag them in circles, kicking up a wake, kissing their heads and ears and faces when they dive at me for a tussle.
By the time I drag myself out and wring out my shirt, sunlight's no longer an assault but a comfort. Warm like my sister's smiles as we wrangle her kids. Warm like a dry towel. The whole world is realigned, any irritations nibbled away by the minnows. A poor man in paradise.