Some days the man stands in a field near the ocean,
the wind whipping around him, pummelling the grasses
and turning their motion into an earth-colored sea in which
he walks, the sound of the wind a voice saying something
the man can almost decipher.
As if a woman were whispering a long secret
into his ear.
The man is not naive enough to believe
that the wind is whispering secrets to him,
but he smiles at the thought of it.
Often when he walks by the sea
he climbs onto the low, wet rocks
at the water’s edge and looks out at the waves.
He feels the wash
of the surf as it sweeps into the shore
as it has done since the oceans were formed,
millions of years before the first
complex amino acid linked itself into chains
and started the long haul that leads, in some ways,
right back to the man.
Not that the man believes he was anything like the point.
But still. Here he is, all the same.
He wishes that the sea were speaking to him,
even if the wind is too aloof. He believes
there is a kernel inside of him, smooth
and hard as a pebble.
He doesn’t remember being born,
feels certain he’s missing something important
most of the time.
He is on the edge of a big discovery
which never seems come.
Instead he stands and turns his back
on the sea. He walks through the tall grasses
back to the road where his truck is parked, worrying
and worrying a small stone he picked up somewhere
and has kept in his pocket ever since. His hand
finds it unconciously and works it.
If you asked him what he was doing, he wouldn’t know
what you were talking about.
When he is sitting at his desk,
or in his car, stopped at a light,
he sometimes gets flashes of the sea in his mind,
or an image of himself in some deep grass
on a low hill in the golden light
of the setting sun.
As if no matter where he was at the moment,
he was somehow also always on that hill, or still
crouched on a rock jutting out into the sea,
with the wind in his face and the cries of birds filling
the air around him and all he had to do
all he had to do was awaken
from this stubborn dream.
He touches the stone with his fingers, satisfied
it is still there.