Magazine article National Forum

People Leave

Magazine article National Forum

People Leave

Article excerpt

So they're gone at last,

and here comes the relief,

here comes the disappointment.

I am on the beach picking up shells,

pieces left behind,

to press next to my chest

or toss into the sea.

Sometimes, they are thrown

back at me, the usual reminders

that it is only ever about myself,

even the surface of

these others, a mirror

to drag up my discomfort with people

or the relentless churn of my solitude.

How the salt stings.

How the gulls squabble over fish scraps.

How the light, in service

to my thoughts, flushes

overripe and prosaic.

How the point of their

departure divides me

into how much of them

there is in me,

how much of me in them.

To one of these halves,

everything is at

an immense distance. …

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