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It wasn’t a dream.

You and I were standing on a beach.
The distant past was the sun.
The pulsating passion of the city
was the sea.

We stood face to face,
barefooted on the sand,
maybe a little bare-souled too.

I was looking at you,
at the perfection that the light
bouncing off the pristine blue
had created.

And then you spoke.
So I followed your cue.
We pulled stories from around us
as if they were kindling,
talked about previous lives
as if they were soft
enough to be painted.
You even showed me how
to hold the brush.

Our words danced around
in the wind, seasoned with salt
and loaded with so much meaning
it was hard by that point
even for the boats and their
silken, white-as-honesty sails
not to fall in love.

The colors were sinking.
The day was ending,
the breeze had been
emptying the deep and
bringing everything to shore.
Our shared world became
crowded, and punctuated
with voices, and we handpicked
the hawkers from the tourists.

Our silence tasted like cocktails.

You had just arrived
and I was waiting to leave.
Funny how the beach could both
mean a seizing and an escape.
The moments were tied up
in neat little bows made
of paper twine and on the back
side you could see the name
of the island that once contained
your sandy footprints and mine.

And I wanted so much for them
to mean something, but
we would both leave that Paradise,
only at different times
and as different people.

Then the noise of the ocean
swallowed the sun, like it
usually does at the end of dreams.

But it wasn’t a dream.

Image by photographer Melissa Kelly


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