washed ashore, no breath left. rocked to death, their
life emptied into the torturous sea
that swallowed them. promising them lives, but
it brought them back against the wood, against
the rocks. their pale faces charred from the sun,
their thinning brows white with salt. their hopeful
black hair tangled with the splinters, their bones
rattling, their bones done. I pray God saved them,
even if they didn’t believe. please let
there be some mercy in that mystery.
but I’m afraid there are more coming, more
running, being chased, fearful, while ever
so mournful. lost ones being swallowed up
by the sea, washed ashore with no breath left.
gently place the bow to string. tiptoe on
ice, nearly silent. how do you do it?
appear and then leave almost without a
trace, but I witness your shadow depart.
I reach out to air to find no one there.
here, nearly silent. how do you do that?
Remember when I held the nori up to the sun, and our eyes were graced by that moss-green? The color stained our eyes for minutes as the seaweed crumbled from our lips. Salt made me crave water, but I didn’t reach for my drink. Instead, I asked you, “Isn’t this beautiful?” And you said, “Yes, it is.” I wanted to stare at it for hours, but you were “done” after one square of nori. You then said, “When I get older, I want to marry a Spanish Girl.” Before logic took over, I indulged in the fancy that one day you would marry. I didn’t mention the harsh realities or misconstrued negativities. I just laughed affectionately and said, “As long as she’s nice and loves you.”
I imagined her hair dark like mine. She’d love red lipstick but never wear it. And she’d wear ankle-grazing floral skirts made of long, gauzy fabric with puffy blue, pink, and yellow flowers. Blooms you could run your fingers against; roses you could get lost in. Perhaps her name would be Maria, and her tan hand would always reach for yours as you crossed the street. She would take care of you and love you, even after I left this Earth.
You grew impatient with my lingering and went inside to play with your dry erase markers or something. I let go of the fancy and watched you walk away. Maria went back to that vague place where particular thoughts crush my heart to a million pieces, and I lose a little each time it happens. She joined the thoughts of your future everything, your future anything.
Remember when I held the nori up to the sun, and our eyes were graced by the moss-green? That moment, those seconds? Life was certain, life was divine.