In April we stood here together when you asked me to
perform this ritual. The dark waters of the Spring
Atlantic chilled, gulls screeched overhead, and in the
dunes, early morning – or was it late night – lovers
intertwined, stuck together with the morning dew. You
kissed me on the lips, as though that were the true
moment when we said our goodbyes. A froth of tide
lapped frayed cuffs as we shared a perfect moment.
And now, carrying you, jeans rolled up, saltwater chills
my naked feet, fingers play a random cadence on your
chilled skin. The cove sleeps on this foggy March
morning. We once walked on the beach to forget the
night sweats and the nightmares; some mornings the
mind’s will was greater than the body’s. We’d felt the
sharp grains beneath our feet, made love in the dunes,
while you still knew who I was, who you were.
Water licks the cuffs of my jeans, brings me back; I tilt
the cold hard vessel to the earth, memories catch in the
wind, ride on the dark, turbulent surface of the water,
sink into the grasp of the undertow. Once a two hundred
and ten pound man, you became a shadow; and now, this.
I wait for the tide to give rest to your bones, for an
understanding that won’t come, the catharsis that I desire.
“I’ll carry you,” I’d said, and now, our final goodbye.
© 1997-2014 – B. Scott Hoadley