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Aug 2018
The afternoon is telling itself
in the way we are gathering

sand between our toes,
crushing sea shells into

tiny pieces of chalk, gashing
the shoreline and seeking salt

wherever the water drags itself
to forget our footprints like a memory

it never wanted. The last streak
of sunlight falls on us like a lowly

spotlight, the sky a wounded animal
heaving itself into a shade. Behind us

is a river that houses a secret you
never wish to talk about. So we shy

away from its mouth still pouring ***
and tattered petals into the sea.

Here, the wind comes to speak to us
in a cold acoustic — Nick Drake, or

Bon Iver. The strums of a daydream are
undoing your hair. We sink our hands

into the water — our fingers getting cold,
saying it is okay to miss heat. The ocean

is holding us with shy wrists. We tread
quietly in its palms, carefully dropping

the names we've been trying to forget.
Everything gets swallowed up eventually,

even the day. We fall silent, our words
drowned out by a chorus of tides.

Soon, the horizon will raise itself
towards us, and all will be lost beneath it.

And the tides will fold themselves
to meet us once more, blanketing our feet

in the foamy cold. You then tell me how
kicking a wave has become a habit, how

you once thought that one can bring
your anger to whoever hurt you first.

So we welcome the night kicking
each wave that comes to us.

We know the waves will kick us back,
our anger rolling to greet us back, too.
Paul Marfil
Written by
Paul Marfil
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