MEMORIES OF SAND I gave up sweeping that year Like a penance As sand permeated Everything in my condo Clung to my scalp and feet Blew in with the fog and landed In my tub, between my sheets, the sink, the carpet Gritted between my teeth in the early hours When i would reach for her still Before the memory would detonate around me that she didn't come. I would follow you anywhere. Morphed into I can't. I hate those dagger give-up words. Unlike the sand I reviled in coaxing the beach closer still And sand blurred the boundaries of my life Inside. Outside. Past. Present. Old. New. I could pull the blanket of crashing waves around me in hypnotizing hues Breathe in the turquoise or gray or navy blue Of the mecurial moods of the sea. Each morning ritual of coffee and perching 8 foot tall on the sea wall studying the swells and tides I could palpate the energy of my spirit rising around the waves Curling and mixing as Aqua-purple-red dragonflies hovered at my veranda hibiscus that murmers truths I do no want to hear. And in all that aloneness settled a great quiet still emptiness. Because I couldn't cry I'd go diving in the persistent waves of salt and kelp. The cold violated my eardrums and for a moment I'd go spinning-disoriented and weightless-suspended Surrender without air as the Pacific held me buyouant Only surfacing to breathe like a Baptism. I was ok being alone. And sometimes I wasn't. As the sand exfoliated my old self I'd grasp hold of the new wonders of phosphorescent tide under a harvest moon And the fading memory of her would rise like a helium balloon I held down for 2 hrs and 4 weeks at Surfers Point in Ventura Then let her go into the abyss of acceptance Like granting permission to the invading sand Gathering like whispers In disappearing corners of her absence And leaned into the redefinition of myself: Barefoot. Sandy. Expectant. The memory of sand.