Asking the Water
I am sitting on the concrete steps that file down into rocks at the jetties and fade into sand. He does not know me, stands at my back, to my right, as I watch the ocean blind the sky with its own light, watch the skin of sea split open like wound, the white-edged lip of broken water lean towards land, then draw back. The shore
is incidental. Or maybe I am, or maybe it is he, standing behind me, saying: If there’s anything I can do, words that fade like something wet slipped into dryness. He knows how that sentence ends, everyone does, touches my shoulder instead, turns to walk back up salt-dusted stairs to the yellow car that brought us here, the car that will take us back,
and water whispers at my feet, tangling between rocks and shells, the tidal hush of secrets.