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by the ocean

April 20, 2020

awoken again reaching out in darkness

heart racing from stress dreams: fleeing or falling or any of the frenetic scenes that purge my mind of pandemic news only to be refilled again day after day after quarantine day

fingers fumbling to find the hour knowing it will be the still time when you can stretch your ears for miles only to find more silence and the occasional whistle of wind

staring into the black i imagine unsuccessfully the sleepy things of counting sheep or rhythmic breathing until i think of you, standing by the ocean, buffeted by a stiff eastward salt-scented breeze kerchief sheltered from the crispness

“sometimes you have to just turn off the news” you say “and listen to nothing” (the distinct voice of rippling waves whispering behind you)

i let loose of the swirling thoughts that race my heart and exhaust my mind
and imagine your voice and the crashing waves and stepping out under a new moon onto sand slipping off my shoes and socks to feel my way across the beach

i let the darkness wrap around me between the moonless sky and blue black water holding me tight and soaking up the still swirling thoughts
until sky sea and stillness take me away

the stress dreams are silenced for now sleep taking hold and insomniac rustling subsided slipping back into darkness until their inevitable return

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