The tide rises

Clambering over boulders and flailing, fighting, retreating and releasing

Loli scrambles along sandstone steps

Frantic cries echo beyond the world this leisurely figure occupies as it floats and strokes gentle waves

Weightless below glistening glassy membrane

The cool breeze ripples across damp skin as the heavy body awakens to its earthly weight and wades toward the lone boulder

Where Loli stands tall and still as stone

Tiny hands reach to clutch cold shoulders

Dark eyes search for light behind empty green eclipses

Slow, articulate and earnest tones loosen the quick, glib flounce of Thai inflections

She wants me to understand

Of course, I don’t

But she persists

Matters of seemingly great importance, sputtered and stretched in tongue-twisting, ear-bending babble and gabble

She points a little finger far out to the horizon

Frantic hands mimic the dance of wave and undertow

The tide rises

She adjusts a bandage on her ankle

I turn to leave


She ignores me, rips off her princess dress and flops into a chair

She watches the sea

She watches the movement of light through water onto white sand

Of light dancing through the loose geometric fabric of the universe

Laws of the universe that bend to unbending souls

And souls that bend to unbending laws

Some things always stay the same

I’m still the little girl in the princess dress

Only now it’s a damp towel

Learn the names for all the colors

As I have learned

The kaleidoscope lens to the world shifts and opens wider and wider

Yet the simplest essence of ‘today could be the last day of your life’ remains the same

With all its burdens and delights

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