Monday, April 2, 2018

Quarter-Life Poems: The Last Witness

The Last Witness

We float on waves
our pink noses face the tired sun.
In the sea underneath
fish swim with trails of murky bubbles
floating from behind their swishing tails.

We try to stay in the water
but there is nothing to grasp onto
The waves push us to the shore
where the skin on our legs and arms
scrape against flecks of grainy sand.

We are tired from our journey-
a thousand years at sea.
You sleep in the dunes
where the wind covers you with sand.
I find a hollow in the sea wall
where I squeeze my limbs together
like a baby bird before flight.

When we awake, we see her-
The last remaining witness
she wears a white dress
that drags along the sand
the sunshine fills the pale fabric
so all we can see
are a gentle glow of bleached cotton
and the dark silhouette of her two sturdy legs.

I go to you in the dunes
you think you are still asleep
I whisper to you
to tell you that we are finally awake
but my voice sounds like
the sputter of weak waves
moving through porous rocks.

You raise your hand lightly toward the clouds
and let it rest on top of the moving wind
your fingers are long and stiff
carved from the tusks of a walrus
your emerald rings glimmer and glint
in the dim setting sun.
The last witness sees the green flicker
from the corner of her eyes
she turns her head and looks at you
(she cannot see me)
she closes her eyes
and grimaces
and disintegrates into sand.

On the dunes, we are still except for our left hands
which wave farewell
until the wind carries the sand away
revealing what was always underneath-
white bones and
seashells filled with empty space and silence.

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