The Beach

Michael Shewmaker
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At night, the dead lovers of the living wade out of the sea
and build small fires along the break. They shed their heavy
coats, empty their pockets of debris. They know they have lost
something—but can’t say what. The fires falter in the wind.
Their faces flicker like paper lanterns. They never speak, only
warm their hands. When the tide finally rises, extinguish-
ing their fires, the current calls them back again. Pulling on
their coats, they file into the waves. And somewhere—in a
room the shade of deep water—the living lover of the last to
disappear, wakes weeping from a dream he can’t remember.
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