Two Sketches of Solitude

By Dings, Fred | TriQuarterly, Spring-Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

Two Sketches of Solitude


Dings, Fred, TriQuarterly


A Young Man by the Sea

The pulsing surf spreads its scallops of foaming lather around the young man's feet and sucks the silken sand between his toes. Throbbing breakers claw and souse the cliff while lean white wings hover low and knife against the wind. Tangles of kelp clump in knots, and the necklace of shells and bones he kicks clatter like dice. Polished logs choke the beach like crossed legs, and he snuffs the pungent brine and thinks of swimming out among the rock stacks wrapped in shawls of mist thrusting through the waves. Clouds strew their flaring pastel hues like lingerie tossed across the sky. The moon, a molten pearl, laves the undulant dunes with emollient light, while grasses comb backwards in the breeze and whisper from seclusions in the night.

An Old Man by the Sea

The collapsing surf gasps and fans its milky spittle around the old man's legs and shifts the sodden sand beneath his feet. Breakers gnaw at the cliff's battered face while he treads the wrackline, threading among debris and stitching a seam which erases in the brine. …

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