Oceanside: In Long Form


This is where…you want to know the tales of timber that wash up on shore, their battered trunks, the bumps of severed limbs, and the whiff of scotch broom and wild strawberry before fruit and bloom, as they smother pine and sand.  You want to remember that smell, and when you are old, that someone has bottled it so you can awaken over and again. and as you trudge through the dunes and examine each speck you wonder what part of you will you leave behind…
You watch the starfish hang on and you want to join the starfish in clinging, and then letting go and letting the sea take you deep. And you want to say here was the place that defined you, shaped your soul, though others have softened your heart, but very few times in life can a place define you, rarely do you allow a place to say who you are.
And you wonder why you came years ago with a life inside of you, screaming to get out, and you heard nothing but the echoes of the waves and when that life came out you prayed that he too would have a day when his voice was screaming to get out which might be today and you wonder what is he looking for now what new life can he make close to here with his memories, without me
When you are here at night, the place lights up like Positano and you imagine the fishing boat that old man Dave has been fixin’ up for 17 years, waiting for the salmon to run and you just wish you could carry this feeling, all these feelings home though this is the only place that’s home, even though your companions say this is your trip, its not a trip if you are already home.
And the years have rolled the tides, and the only constants those three rocks you have written odes to. The rocks here are different – made of something “other than” It’s how you know you’ve left, no other place can be even close. You watch the son – little then big – pick up jaspers and agates, moonstone, carnelian, and you want to tell him that you can’t carry the sea home with you – those rocks will only weigh you down over time. You must leave them here, as sacrifice to the sea gods.
In the morning, if you stare long enough at the ocean you’ll miss the sunrise behind you and the words of your mom when you moved here, where will your son play, and the words of your mom when you left here, bloom where you planted, bounce off the inside of your head and the sight of your dad who walked beside you on the beach baby in arms now hovers above as you stroll.
But if you spend too much time here you are not living. It is only a place to be born. You must live out in the world you know this but you still need this baptismal font over and again to dip in your toes. Because every new part you play in this long running act requires such.
And out on the porch in the mist, you say aloud you don’t remember him – did he really exist – and the only proof you have after time has sped up is the boy who looks like the man, and the town that reminds you a little bit – kind of – like Italy – but it is not, because Italy steals your heart and only one place can hold your soul.
And you want to tell the beachcombers if they need a grabber to hunt agates they should go home you cannot hunt agates anyhow you just know them – know they are there they guide you when they sparkle it is the angels winking at you.
You watch the old man get caught by a sneaker wave, he too in an “other” world, walking with two pink not rose flowers and how he must have been trying to say goodbye to someone and the sea soddened his shoes and refused his so long.
This is how you feel whenever you depart, and you cry on the plane, and people wonder why you are crying, you tell them, you are sad to leave and they don’t understand that each time you fly off you leave behind a piece you never get back. And the only way you will be whole again will be to give yourself over to the sea.
And you tell the kid sitting next to you, when you lean on his shoulders and he says they’re not big enough, you agree but you know they will be someday.


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