20 July, 2008

By Moonlight (Deterioration)

My orphanage lay at the end of the coast, with only tufts of grass and shale skittering off onto the secret beach below. Gulls swooped around the eaves, sat on the red tile roof, sailed on brisk wind that rushed into the house with unfettered gaiety.

The beach was only visible in moonlight. During the day, the sea swallowed it whole, and crabs marched onto the bank with imperious duty, only to be left naked and furtive themselves as the sea withdrew by darkness. When I was a child, I would walk the winding rock steps down to that beach in periods of intense quiet. Starlight flittered over the wet sand with sensuous touch, lighting my way as I felt the rough edge and clawed at weeds and deserted birds’ nests.

When I can’t sleep, I look at the moon. Of course I do. The moon has seen that beach more than I, and I could never see that beach enough. Its power was unnatural, like a ghost walking through a television. Can you see that?

Only in moonlight.

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