Washed Out

The ocean washes against the old

beach fort that has shrunk

beside the backdrop of my age.

There's still the heap of rotting boats

under the dry, spiky shrubbery, blue

and yellow, Red Dawns, and Lias,

beaten by the weather and the fishermen.

At the wharf, in places now rotten

through, we would fish with rods

twice as tall as us. You filled

the bucket with bass and mackerel,

I cried in secret failing as an angler. Once,

you pricked my toe with the fishhook

and kissed my mouth to silence me,

you smelled of soap and salt and your lips

were chapped from the sun, your fingers

on my cheeks callous and scratched,

hot against my goosefleshed skin.

I almost feel your ghostly lips as I dare

a step or two across the planks of the pier,

and there, ahead in the slanting sun

I imagine your tan back stooping

down to count the fish and brag.

I see you prance around the towels

laid out by classy city girls

who came to sunbathe and swept you

away like a breathless twister.

That summer I became too small,

only a dot on your horizon, my sails

patched and weathered, sinking

with no one to come to the rescue.

Years after, I still trail the sand slopes

for that shell I found and wanted

to give to you but lost.

I haunt these dunes, old

and washed out, still looking.

I don't want to know if you do too.

There's too much sand between

then and now, too many storms

crashing against the beach,

spilling the sand grains over

that lost shell without a dweller.

One step is far too short to run

back to all those buried years.


words: Brigita Pavsic, Slovenia (soul flowers)
image: Greta Bolger (more & more)


another sand slope trail: Where did we go? (#7)


BluePrintReview - issue 21 - shortcuts / detours