The waves speak quietly to me
When the tempest sleeps deep beneath.
I wish that I could give to you
The sun before it weds the west.
— Jason Byron —
Far off now, the beach is a thin strip of dried oatmeal, brittle and pale. They mar its surface like raisins, mere dots—he imagines that they are calling for him, that she, though long past, is shouting herself hoarse on the epithet of his name—but the ferocious wind strikes them dumb. Wind, but no rain yet.
He stands some distance out, the water only breaching his hips—the water is black in the dim light; everything seems devoid of color… the ebb of ebony against his waist; the cinderous stretch of stormclouds pooling overhead, their pallor stretching beyond the pale of his imagination; the bland cereal-beige coastline extending no invitation; the stark white froth of the ocean’s madness, like semen crested aqueous inside a crashing womb.
How long ago had it been that he waded out here, alone, where all is quiet and ferociously calm? He cannot remember—only knows that the approaching storm’s violence is mesmerizing, an aching song from the waves of onyx crashing harmlessly upon the sand, woolly steeds of a dark master expiring wetly and rising again from some distance.
The rain will consummate everything soon, when the full weight arrives like Tomorrow and effaces him and the distant callers-out with its peppering assault. He shivers for the first time, despite the balmy warmth, tastes wavethrown salt like spun glass on the tip of his tongue.
He turns from the black specks, letting the gestalt of distance turn them into sleepy abstracts, damp newspaper print. Seeping out into the unknowable distance—smoke osmosing across the sexed distance of a twilit room—the ashen ceiling diminishes to even darker angles, unperturbed by vagaries like memory or the politics of loss. He thinks of her now, her face framed in curls.
A low rumble of thunder sends dull, moaning shudders through the inky water, clinging to him like vixens. He turns again, dizzy from the coming behemoth, its breadth looming much larger than his field of vision allows. The shore is lost to him now, gone in a spray of dark water stirred by the blustering wind. But he feels no melancholy, for the rain begins now, cleaving him unto the ceaseless mystery of the distance and from the fastnesses of grainy, distemperate earth.
The stillness is riven with sudden violence, hurled bolts of fire tearing the veil from grace, mute in monochrome, etching a scorched path through waves of inconsolable rain. His world slants as he lies, suddenly sleepy, on the water, its lulling motions a downy bed. Above him, the clouds roil with undisguised fury, but slowly cede to the shadows that creep like spiders into the corners of his vision. The thunder lumbers like a father’s baritone prayers, the rain’s plash a thousand spent summers asking plaintively after her last days. Everything is so beautiful in its infancy.
The deep claims him, quite suddenly like narcotics, and he drifts away imagining coppery auburn and heart-burgundy chiffon.