We were on the rushing beach, in the pitch dark, the milky way above us, the great river of stars- and squatted on our heels, where the tide met the dry sand, and I was piling wet stones in your fingers- and the night was endlessly dark, and empty- empty! And I knew that we could build it all again, that we could build it all over-
“What have you been doing all this time?” I asked, as you clutched the wet pebbles in your fist. You smiled, and I knew that you’d been building, that you’d been stockpiling, that you’d made up a fierce calcified shell from which you could take anything- anything! And I knew that you were ready.
The water is black, and opaque like basalt, and the sky is the bright light of clouds. The waves are small chops, ridged and gentle, and they gather right at eye level. I am dog paddling. If the water is cold, I don’t feel it. In the distance there are walls of rock, pillars of stone, a mortar for the sea. It is the grey season, the dormant season, and there is water everywhere, and no color in anything. And this, I realize, is the way I will die.