the driftwood was sun-bleached &
tangled in seaweed.
it looked like the jawbone of a giant
that a god more prominent
than we can ever fathom
threw upon the beach.
to be a child again
and have such whimsical thoughts once more.
to believe in giants
and gods.
and a God
‘i am a man,’ i think.
‘i am an adult,’ i think.
it’s not about giants hurling
jawbones upon an empty beach.
it’s about storms and tides,
saltwater and the sun.
i continue to stroll the barren shore.
it is autumn,
and the cold wind keeps
most people away.
i come upon a teepee-like structure.
it was hastily constructed,
obviously the work of kids;
tourists, no doubt,
here for the summer – here for a day
on the coast of Maine.
i place my rainjacket on the sandy ground
inside the structure
and crawl in.
‘here,’ i think,
‘this is where i will wait for those giants.
this is where i will wait for God.’

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it is no longer
about the bracelet;
the one i bought as a gift
to give to you,
insisting it was out of friendship.
the one i said
wouldn’t be awkward.
and it wasn’t,
because i didn’t give it to you.
it is no longer
about the unwrapped box,
tiny and delicate,
sitting at the bottom of my rucksack;
a box i might
let sit there for a few months
or even for a few years.
i couldn’t leave fast enough,
which is a weird feeling.
i remember thinking,
‘please let the weather be ok
so i can make the 1-hour flight.’
of course, i could take
the 12-hour bus ride;
but that would give me more time
to think about the stranger
for whom i bought a bracelet.
i made the flight,
the weather was fine.
when my rucksack came
down the luggage slide
i inadvertently blessed myself
even though i partly wished
the unwrapped box would be
gone from my life;
a piece of luggage i wouldn’t claim.



a squirrel broke the
bird feeder.
how strange,
it was supposed to be
squirrel-proof.
they would leap,
trying again and again,
but the birds
just laughed.
now,
the birds don’t call,
and they don’t
send photos.
a squirrel broke the
bird feeder
and I stopped
connecting.

you are old now.
this is how
it happens, right?
all those years of working
just leading up to a couch
and a blaring television.
you hold long wisps of white hair
and eyes that look but don’t see.
your mind goes out like the tide,
it drifts off somewhere.
in that place of pause,
that place of stillness,
you ask how i was feeling.
in two decades, you haven’t.
for twenty years, you’ve looked at me
but have never seen me.
now, with your fragility
and mortality watching you,
in a small room
with a loud television,
you ask how I am feeling.
but I think you see a younger
version of yourself
tucked somewhere in me.
“how are you?”
it is in that moment of lucidity,
in the stillness where
the delicate place where alzheimer’s
has lost its grip,
where I am just a mirror.
“how are you?”
but it isn’t a question for me.
you are asking,
‘did i live? or
just exist.’
but the tide goes out,
a stillness returns,
and you resume existing.