all this can be used for something else

Walk the beach long enough and you will find a shell with a peep hole and when you bring it to your hazel or blue or grey or spotted-owl-brown, you will see beyond ocean and fog. You will add this shell to the others, collected on a Monday when trauma trips you almost off this earth and a human arrives with an overripe banana and a bottle of water and a car, wheezing from lack of gasoline. There is no driftwood on this beach, but your eyes find bits of animal and ghosts of storm from months before. Your feet are nude and ankles too as questions arrive like how can love carve so many scars on our bodies and how can we breathe when loss is like a subway collapsing on lungs and all this is part of life but what parts of life are meant to make you want to remain. A big enough shell can be used as a soap dish or to hold quarters for laundry or as a ladle for thick soup or rice. That curved branch left all alone over there can be used to hold things like toilet paper or discarded love notes. The water is too cold but so is life, so you jump in with clothes on because the shyness on your skin is too scratched up to be seen. All this can be used for something else. You are offered a souvenir of black-and-white magnet of this day and it sticks to your refrigerator of the time you almost drowned. You think of the ocean as your body: salt, loss, death, wave, deepness, peed in, grainy and dangerous. You want to crawl toward its bottom to find a way out. On the way out, you notice the seagulls and fall in love with their aggression; you are jealous of their flight. Home is many avenues and city blocks away but you’ve got all these shells to crush into your skin like armor. Sometimes life is about one day and how to get into it and how to move through it.

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