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All things known and seen, then,
walked into nightfall.
The sun didn’t feel
like the sun, somehow,
in context with the days
that held it.
I was granted only
a strip of horizon
for view,
through the narrow inlet
our boat crossed
the day before
to bring us here,
flanked by forested boulders
with jagged faces.
Everything felt new
and lost at the same time.
We didn’t expect to be
followed by the sun,
but it was there,
and it set, despite
our collective will
to escape everything that
reminded us of reality.
On El Nido
descended in all directions
a night as black as ink
with the opacity of
a decaffeinated dream.
I stayed out after hours,
in case the missing moon
needed a confidante.
I found them at the bar,
the newlywed couple
from Russia,
who traveled all the way here
like pilgrims.
I nodded at them without a word,
forgave them for being
the third pair of honeymooners
to hold up the line
at the breakfast buffet
this morning, because they
couldn’t stop kissing.
I waited for them to leave
and retreat to
the privacy of the love
they came here to make,
then resumed my
nocturnal wanderings,
a forgotten fugitive.
The shapes of hunger hissed
and slithered in flashes
across the sand, as I
circled the shore in search
of cellphone signal, or
any other incongruous sign
that the night could spare.
By the time
the call came through,
the tide was up to my ankles,
and I was waist-deep in emotion.
First I heard hello,
then, why are you crying.
I said, this place is beautiful,
then, I wish you were here.

Photo first found via Google Images.
If this image belongs to you, please let me know.

The title came from a line in a poem by Alicia Keys called “Everywhere is Nowhere” from the book Tears for Water. The phrase “shapes of hunger” came from a poem by Carl Sandburg called “The Road and the End”.


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