The Sailor

As a child she had imagined becoming a sailor, embarking on age of discovery for those lost places, abandoned in derelict buildings filled with lepers and the undead. There amongst the detritus and refuse of the living she would toil through the drawn out days. Only drowning men would know of her, the hollow terror of their eyes as they slipped under would haunt her dreams for the rest of time.

Life would offer its strange and terrible symmetries.

Everything becomes ruinous and crumbling, she thought, like the tide washing over land. She remembered those moments: the feel of grass, wet with dew, on her hands and the taste of oranges in her mouth. And the monotony that always followed, that bled out, the inevitable entropy. Day to day these things seep through her and leave her empty.

She longs for the crash and slap of the waves, the spray wetting her face as the wind blows. To lose herself, slip through and find a time to study the intricacies of existence. See the universe unfolding before her, terrifying and splendorous and undeniable. No one could bring her back.

Still Life

He dreamed he saw Catalina, the breeze stirring her hair, a clear sky above and the hot sun. Perhaps it was in Nicaragua, the volcanoes looming in the distance. The smell of her is overwhelming as he reaches for a strand of her hair.

In the evening, the sun nearly done its rapid descent, he sits to himself on a bench in the main square of the sleepy town. As they do everyday, the birds flock to the trees, small crow-like things, a cacophonous symphony. There is heaving laughter around him, those gathered at the day’s end to share a tale. All he can hear are his own screams, as he batters helplessly against the walls, while the air just seeps out.  His heart, he thinks, is corrosive.

Maybe it was Granada. He can remember the volcanoes and the heat, the way the clouds would roll across the sky in the afternoon. There was a quiet intersection, pink and turquoise buildings, two old women crossing slowly and a child playing across the street. He can see it all as it was in that very moment, a careless glance as he went on his way, now preserved, all fluid drawn off, unlikely to decay.