On What Is Next

The world is dissolved to the point of a pin. Of a heaving sigh. Of a shift in light. A grain of white rice. A drop of blood on the floor.

Everything rusts quickly here, it blooms over night on the trash bin or guitar strings, the tea kettle and the watering can.

It’s quiet when you leave, the kind of quiet I used to cherish. I could write an entire book on how well one person can waste a day. But space makes space. I think it’s easy to forget when you are the one making it.

I count waves, count ounces of water, count words, count days. I buy a pair of overalls for a baby I do not have. I draw a new house in a notebook,

I am another year older and I pass this mark by laying in the sand for days on end and the writing about laying in the sand for days on end. Something has come to an end but I cannot quite touch my tongue to it.

A dear friend comes down to stay for the three days and we read on the beach and drink in the afternoon and when I tell her about my nerves she says simply, you cannot live in the same moment forever. And like that the matter is settled.

I wonder at what comes next, roll it over in my mouth and say it out loud. She takes a picture of me walking along the beach where I live and when I see it I tell her it will be the cover of my book. I want something I can hold in my hands. I want to hold these years in my hands. I’ve never been very good at letting go.

I float in the ocean when the water is calm and I tell myself to be like this, to let the tide take me, to bend like the bamboo, to roll like the waves do.

But, really the waves are not the water at all. A wave is a disturbance that transfers energy from one place to another. The water is moved through – the water is called the medium. The wave itself is a transference of energy. The wave transfers the energy not the water. I cannot separate the two in my mind. If there is nothing to obstruct the energy a wave could travel the entire ocean. The water is not the wave. The wave is not the water.

image by artist Megan Jorgenson

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